Eastern Oyster clump

Will White

Latin name: Crassostrea virginica

Apalachicola Bay, Florida, supported the most productive U.S. oyster fishery until 2012, when oyster populations rapidly collapsed. Dr. Will White, working with collaborators at Northeastern and South Florida, used computer models to show that the collapse was due to higher-than-usual salinity caused by regional drought and upstream water withdrawals by Georgia (and not due to overharvest). His testimony in a lawsuit before the US Supreme Court will influence future water management in the bay.

Publications: 

Kimbro DL, White JW, Tillotson H, Cox N, Christopher M, Stokes-Cawley O, Yuan S, Pusack TJ, Stallings CD. 2017. Local and regional stressors interact to drive a salinization-induced outbreak of predators on Florida oyster reefs. Ecosphere 8: e01992