DSC_0477-201x300-157x235Bill Walton

Associate Professor & Extension Specialist

School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences

AU Shellfish Laboratory

In my research, I emphasize the use of controlled field experiments to solve applied problems and to answer questions posed by the public. In particular, my work focuses on issues related to marine invertebrate aquaculture, fisheries management and restoration. Within the Gulf of Mexico, species of interest include the eastern oyster, blue crabs and shrimp, which form the basis for important commercial and recreational fisheries. I conduct my work at the AU Shellfish Lab on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab campus along the Alabama Gulf Coast. You can read more about AUSL here.

  • Oyster aquaculture research, training and advice: One of the centers of our outreach is ongoing training, assistance and advice to both potential and current oyster farmers. We offer a recurring course, Oyster Farming Fundamentals, to train potential oysters farmers, as well as guest speakers and periodic ‘boot camps’ to cover important topics in half day sessions. Read more here.
  • Seafood Savvy/Know Thy Seafood: Consumers have lots of seafood options; what would lead them to choose American seafood? We strive to educate consumers and food servers about the sustainability and quality of local seafood by connecting consumers with harvesters, processors and chefs.
  • Understanding Marine Invasions: We work to help people know what’s not native to our coast and how these species affect our native species.
  • Shellfish Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico (AU5245/6245). This is a 2-week 2 credit course taught at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. See more here.


Please see my ResearchGate profile

Honors and Awards

  • Auburn University College of Agriculture Excellence in Extension & Outreach Award, 2019
  • Alabama Epsilon Sigma Phi 2019 Visionary Leadership Award
  • US Aquaculture Society, Certificate of Appreciation, 2019
  • Auburn University College of Agriculture Dean’s Grantsmanship Award, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019
  • Cubmaster’s Key, Baldwin District, Mobile Area Council Boy Scouts of America, 2018
  • Partners for Environmental Progress Community Partner Award, ‘5th Grade Teachers Coastal Kids Quiz, 2017
  • Daphne United Methodist Church Cross and Flame Award 2017
  • National Sea Grant Association Research to Application Award, 2016
  • Auburn University Spirit of Sustainability Group Award, 2014
  • Auburn University College of Agriculture Project Team Award, ‘The Oyster Team’ (2013)
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension System Superior Service Team Award (2010)
  • Certificate of Appreciation, East Coast Shellfish Growers Association, 2009
  • Thurlow C. Nelson Award for Best Student Oral Presentation, 91st Meeting of National Shellfisheries Association, 1999
  • Benjamin Brown Award for Independent Research & Promise in a Field of Science, Tufts University, 1991
  • National Merit Scholar, Tufts University, 1987-1991