The research done in the Interdisciplinary Marine Conservation Ecology Laboratory spans many topics, including both basic research driven by intellectual curiosity and also applied research targeted at sustaining valuable ecosystem services. Important areas of emphasis include:

(1) Understanding the processes that control dynamics of sandy beach and coastal shoreline ecosystems so as to conserve the habitat value of the beach

(2) Quantifying the ecosystem services provided by oyster reefs, mudflats, seagrass beds, and salt marshes

(3) Modeling the compensatory restoration of estuarine and coastal habitats especially consequences of bottom trawling

(4) Assessing the direct and indirect effects of fishing, including especially consequences of bottom trawling

(5) Evaluating the consequences of estuarine eutrophication on higher trophic levels

(6) Designing effective monitoring studies of human impacts on coastal ecosystems

(7) Assessing long-term and cascading indirect effects of oil and other pollutants in the marine environment

(8) Using experimentation to test how deep-sea vent communities are organized

(9) Assessing the roles of multiple stressors on composition and dynamics of sea-floor communities

(10) Investigating the potential impacts of introduced oysters and other invasive species in estuaries

(11) Developing novel techniques to enhance shellfish aquaculture and to restore fisheries habitats

(12) Using interdisciplinary approaches to assess potential impacts of global change on coastal and oceanic ecosystems