Auburn University Shellfish Lab

The Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory (AUSL) provides instruction, research and outreach in the area of shellfish ecology and production to the citizens of Alabama, the region and the nation. It is one component of the Auburn University School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences. AUSL is located on the campus of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on the eastern end of Dauphin Island where Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico converge. The faculty, staff and students at AUSL conduct a variety of applied and basic research associated with marine invertebrates, including the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. The facility includes a small-scale production hatchery and nursery.

Research

The Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory serves as a satellite base of operations in coastal Alabama for applied and basic marine research conducted by faculty, researchers and graduate students in the School of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences of Auburn University. Typically, research efforts are focused on applied questions that come from the oyster industry. Current research focuses on increasing the safety of off-bottom oysters through different culture techniques and harvest practices, improving the consistency and quality of off-bottom farmed oysters through breeding and culture techniques, evaluating new technologies and techniques to raise off-bottom oysters that maximize profitability, and assessing the utility of spat on shell as a tool for fisheries enhancement and restoration projects.

Extension

The Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory also serves as a base of operations in coastal Alabama for extension and outreach efforts to commercial seafood stakeholders conducted by specialists and agents in the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Typically, extension and outreach efforts are focused on the needs of the oyster industry but include all aspects of commercial seafood production, distribution and marketing. Current programs focus on supporting the off-bottom oyster farming industry and traditional oyster culture/fisheries, invasions by non-native marine species and education for seafood industry professionals.

Tools and Resources for off-bottom oyster farmers


Webinar

Enjoy a webinar on branding opportunities for oyster farmers, produced by the National Aquaculture Alliance.

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Disease Monitoring

Perkinsus marinus (Dermo) is the causative agent of a fatal disease of oysters. Cllick below to see its distribution, prevalence and intensity in the Gulf of Mexico.

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‘On the Lid’ Newsletter

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Personnel

Glen I. Chaplin
Advisor III, Natl Resource Prg
150 Agassiz St Dauphin Island, AL 36528
251-861-3018
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Rusty Grice
Oyster Aquaculture Business Specialist
118 N. Royal Street Suite 800
Mobile, AL 36602
251-229-0826
Scott Rikard
Manager, Ag & Natural Rescs Prog
150 Agassiz Street Dauphin Island, AL 36528
251-861-3018
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Caitlin Robitaille
Research Tech
150 Agassiz Street
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
251-861-3018
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Sarah Spellman
Research Assistant
150 Agassiz Street
Dauphin Island, AL 36528
251-861-3018
Bill Walton
Associate Professor and Extension Specialist
Dauphin Island
251-861-3018, Extension 2