Lab members

(*) Be aware, the formatting of this page is a permanent “work in progress”

Pedro A. Quijón. I’m a Professor of Biology whose career started in Valdivia, Chile, with BSc (Biology) and MSc (Zoology) degrees working with Eduardo Jaramillo (former Instituto de Zoologia, Universidad Austral de Chile). Then, I moved to St. John’s, NL to do a PhD in Marine Biology with Paul Snelgrove (Ocean Sciences Centre, Memorial University), and to New Jersey-USA, to do postdoctoral research with Judy Grassle (Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University). Then, back to Atlantic Canada to take this position at the Department of Biology.


paula-canoeDr. Paula Tummon Flynn is a postdoctoral fellow and our coordinator for the activities taking place at Basin Head MPA. Paula completed a PhD in Environmental Sciences working on direct and indirect species  interactions with a focus on giant Irish moss-green crab interactions. The Publication page lists all the articles she has written on the topic. Parts of Paula’s work as a PhD student were done in collaboration with David Garbary (StFx, NS) and with DFO researchers in Charlottetown and Moncton, NB. Before switching from MSc to PhD, Paula did her BSc-Honors and two NSERC-USRAs in this lab. 

K. Devon Lynn is a PhD-Environmental Sciences student working on the behavioral ecology of amphipods in sandy beaches of the Prince Edward Island National Park. Devon switched from the MSc and added light pollution and other coastal organisms to the scope of her thesis project. In addition to spending most of her time in the water, before entering graduate school, she did a BSc-Honors in Biology (UPEI), and completed two NSERC-USRAs in our lab.


Diego Quintanilla is a PhD student co-supervised with Dr Cristian Duarte (Universidad Andres Bello, UNAB, Santiago-Chile). He is enrolled in the “Doctorado en Medicina de la Conservación” at UNAB and the focus of his PhD is the influence of stressors on the ecology of coastal organisms. Diego did his Marine biology and MSc degrees at UNAB working on marine habitats of the Chilean littoral. 

Emily Gibbons is a MSc – Environmental Sciences student working on local-scale biodiversity associated with mussel-giant Irish moss clumps at Basin Head MPA. Before enrolling in the MSc, Emily did a BSc Biology at UPEI and completed two NSERC-USRA projects with us working on predator-prey interactions involving small- and medium-sized decapod crustaceans.



Tyler Power is a MSc – Environmental Sciences student working on a project about biodiversity associated with critical coastal habitats, including eelgrass beds, different oyster leases and bare subtidal sediments. He recently graduated with a BSc in Wildlife Conservation at UPEI, and has a history working on birds with Parks Canada and watershed organizations. He is currently obsessed with finding a name for the Biology boat.


Brandon Vriends is a MSc – Environmental Sciences student who is using laboratory and field experiments to study the interactions among species associated with giant Irish moss clumps in Basin Head MPA (eastern PEI). Brandon focus is on a three-level trophic system involving large crabs, small crabs and tiny oysters. He recently completed his BSc in Biology and his commitment to his project from day 1 (Graduation day) is quite literal as the picture shows. 


Maddi Richard is BSc-Biology and a NSERC-USRA student working with us this summer on biodiversity and condition of giant Irish moss associated with blue mussels. Maddi is using field methods to learn and test the effects of these clumps on epifaunal colonization rates and to contribute to the study of the interactions between Irish moss and eelgrass beds. 


Former students and lab associates (not really gone, not forgotten either)

Jenna Cahill completed her MSc – Environmental Sciences under the supervision of Kevin Teather first (who entered a Sabbatical term later inher project), and then under Pedro’s supervision (with whim the program and project got completed). Jenna worked on shorebirds in Orwell Bay and Malpeque Bay in areas associated with and nearby oyster aquaculture leases. Her work was funded by MITACs and the PEI Nature Trust. Before her MSc and our lab, Jenna did a BSc at UPEI and a Master program at Memorial University. 

Mark Saunders was a Biology Honors student working on a project involving oyster restoration and shellfish enhancement, and then a summer student funded by a NSERC-USRA who conducted deployments and measured barnacle and mussel settlement rates. Since then, he moved to a different lab to start a MSc program but still collaborates with us every now and then. 


Will Ingram was a Biology honors student working under the co-supervision of Dr Luke Poirier (famous among other things for being a former PhD student of this lab; see below). Will  studied the short-term response of oysters to predator cues. We are waiting for his photo…

Cristian Duarte, Karin Acuňa (and little Florencia) were recent visitors during a fall and winter period (October 2018- February 2019). They are close collaborators from Santiago-Chile (Universidad Andres Bello), working on joint projects and publications on climate stressors and their influence on coastal species (see Publications). They share research interests and some deep roots with Valdivia and southern Chile.

Emma Goodwin recently completed a NSERC-USRA. This past summer she was working on a collaborative project involving the effects of light pollution on invertebrate settlement/recruitment. Emma was working on modified settlement plates, trying to measure settlement rates in a widespread species of barnacle. Emma is also doing her Biology-Coop program.


Keegan McCarvill was until recently a NSERC-USRA student with us. He enjoyed playing around with cages and measuring green crab predation rates on conspecifics (cannibalism) and on mud crabs, both in bare sediments and on sediments associated to Irish moss and mussel clumps. His work took place in Basin Head, Murray Harbour and Meadowbank, PEI.


Luke Poirier was until recently a PhD student co-supervised with Sophie St-Hilaire (Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College). Luke developed a project involving the ecology and management of green crab populations in the Canadian Maritimes. His work involved green crab expansion, impacts on oysters, and control strategies. Before committing to his PhD, he completed a MSc at Acadia University (NS) and a BSc in Biology here at UPEI.

Hannah Gehrels was a MSc student who joined our lab in January 2015 and completed her program in December 2016. She explored Hannah-rock-crabthe interactions between different stages of green crabs and between this species and mud crabs, in the context of management and conservation of shellfish resources. Before us, Hannah completed a BSc Honors (Coop) in Simon Fraser University and worked at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre (BC).


Melanie Rossong completed her PhD program under the co-supervision of Paul Snelgrove and myself. She was formally enrolled at Memorial University. Melanie studied behavior and interactions of European green crab populations in the Atlantic Canada region, particularly in Newfoundland. Her research was the result of a close collaboration with researchers in DFO Gulf and NL divisions. Before her PhD, Melanie did a MSc at UNB-Saint John and a BSc at St. Francis Xavier University.


Tessa Bartlett was a Biology Honors student working on the monitoring of green crab in Basin Head and Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island. Tessa was interested on the seasonal dynamics of females occurrence and egg development.


megan-picMegan Sandiford is a recent BSc Psychology graduate who worked with us the last two summers as a research assistant. Her work involved Irish moss, green crabs, blue mussels, and a lot of data collection from surveys and experiments. She worked primarily at Basin Head MPA, although some of her work also took place in laboratory facilities in Duffy and AVC.


Kristina Ivkov is a recent graduate of the Wildlife Conservation program here at UPEI and has been helping my students as a part-time assistant for two summers already. Kristina has been involved on green crab monitoring, experiments with mussels, Irish moss, and several other projects in the lab.



Ellen Chapman did a NSERC-USRA project on the extraction of potential bioactive compounds from the European green crab, in collaboration with Rob Hurta. Currently, Ellen is conducting a second USRA project involving crab-mussel interactions which is also part of her Honors program in Biology.


Rebecca Croke (no photo) conducted research in coral reef habitats in Indonesia. She traveled and did work there under the umbrella of an Operation Wallace program. Rebecca’s work was part of her honors in Biology program and was co-supervised by Ruth Cox (CERC, Health Management, AVC).


Shane Gilbert (he refuses to give us a photo) conducted research in eastern PEI developing and testing a new methodology to study oyster sources of mortality, in particular, mortality of young oysters. Shane’s project was part of his honors in Biology and was co-supervised by Ruth Cox (CERC, Health Management, AVC).


Siobhan Marie-Curry was a MSc student working on plankton comsiobhanmunities and aquatic invasive species (AIS) in Canada’s main ports (Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic and the Great Lakes). Based on the AVC MSc program, Siobhan’s work was co-supervised by Jeff Davidson (Health Management, AVC) and Andrea Locke (formerly at DFO-Gulf Division). Siobhan successfully completed her MSc in 2014.


EmilyEmily Norton did a NSERC-USRA research project on the bycatch associated to the harvesting of green crab populations with different types of gear (two types of trap and fyke nets). Her work took place in Basin Head MPA and Murray Harbour, both in the east coast of Prince Edward Island.


Laura O’Laura-and-oysterMeara conducted a NSERC-USRA project working on the diversity of invertebrates associated to mussel clumps. We are interested on these clumps because they represent patches of highly structured habitat embedded within more uniform matrix of sandy and muddy intertidal sediments.


Emiley MacKinnon (no photo) did an honors project in collaboration with Jeff Davidson, Sophie St-Hilaire (Health Management), Maya Groner and Ruth Cox (CERC-Health Management). Emiley studied the prevalence of wasting disease in eelgrass beds in relation to green crab feeding activities.


Lyynn1Lynn Symington did work with us as a summer research assistant in oyster and green crab projects in estuaries of the western, central and eastern areas of the island. Her work was funded by a NSERC grant and research collaborations with Sophie St-Hilaire and Jeff Davidson.



Silei Peng was a summer research assistant in eelgrass disruption and green crab-oyster interaction projects managed in collaboration with Ruth Cox, Sophie St-Hilaire and Jeff Davidson (Health Management).


MeghanMeghan Boswall completed a summer season of research under the NSERC-USRA program. She used laboratory experiments to study the influence of adult predatory species (visual and chemo-tactile) upon the feeding rates exhibited by juvenile crabs on small-sized American oysters.


Elizabeth Teixeira was an interchange student from the ElizabethUniversidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil (so when she was not working, she was literally freezing!). She completed a summer of research with us investigating the role of three distinctive habitats types on the rates of cannibalism exhibited by adult crabs.


Jessie ChOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAampion was a BSc (Honors) student working on the causes of oyster mortality and growth depletion in southern PEI estuaries, particularly, the Hillsborough system. Her work was done in collaboration with the AVC Shellfish lab and was co-supervised with Jeff Davidson and Sophie St-Hilaire (AVC Health Management).


Mitchell Maaa-Mitchell FishingcMillan (MSc) studied sandy beach community structure in relation to physical properties and stranded seaweed characteristics along PEI’s north shore system. Mitchell’s work was conducted primarily within the PEI National Park that includes a long line of sandy beaches and dunes (see publications). The fish in his hands came from somewhere else.



Kevin Sorochan (MSc) studied the distribution of decapod meroplankton communities (crab larvae) in the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia. His research was funded by the Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe), and part of it was done in the facilities of the University of Victoria with a great deal of collaboration with John Dower’s lab.


Tyler Pickaa-TylerPickeringering (MSc) studied green crab prey preference and the influence of this predator on wild oyster beds of PEI’s North River and Bedeque Bay (southern shore of PEI). Tyler’s research was supported by AFRI under a collaborative grant between the PEI Shellfish Association and the Atlantic Shrimp Corporation.


Vanessa Lutz-Caa-vanessaollins (BSc) did her honors project on the epifauna associated to mussel aquaculture lines in the Brunedell-Montague river system. Later on, she conducted MSc research on benthic ecology in Basin Head lagoon and Souris estuary, both in the East coast of the island.


Summer-Cassandra-Green-crabCassandra Mellish (BSc) conducted a NSERC-USRA and then an honors on green crab populations from Souris and North River. She studied population changes and the potential use of this invasive species to help mitigate its effects on shellfish. Her honors was co-supervised by Mary McNiven at the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC).


Kathleen MacDonald (BSc, no photo available) studied lobster fishery catches in PEI main fishing areas. She also made a comparison of two distinctive lobster trap designs to determine how effective they were.


Veronique Dveroniqueufour (BSc) studied epifaunal biodiversity associated to blue mussel aquaculture lines in eastern PEI locations. Her work was co-supervised by Jeff Davidson (AVC).



Kristen Murray (BSc) conducted a PEI-shorelineNSERC-USRA and an honors project examining green crab – oyster predator-prey interactions in southern PEI shorelines. She focused on trials assessing functional response and worked along Tyler and Luke.


Jessica Willis (BSc; photo not available) did a NSERC-USRA and then an honors project applying molecular tools to early detection of the tunicate Diplosoma sp. Her work was co-supervised by Spencer Greenwood (Lobster Science Centre, AVC).



Marianne Parent (BSc) worked on strategies of mitigation of PEI invasive tunicates, particularly the vase tunicate, Ciona intestinalis. Her work was co-supervised by Jeff Davidson.


Andrey Maandrey-worklyshev (BSc) did a NSERC-USRA and an honors project on eelgrass beds health and green crab disturbance in several estuaries of Prince Edward Island. The photo is misleading. He does that not only when is sunny outside…


 Michael 102_3443Wadowski (BSc) studied fouling diversity and tunicate mitigation in PEI aquaculture lines located in eastern PEI. Talented like no other… his research was co-supervised by Jeff Davidson.


Joseph Desreux (BSc; no photo) studied tunicate colonization in an array of estuarine areas of Prince Edward Island and was co-supervised by Jeff Davidson.


Garrgarryy Gregory (BSc) did an honors and a NSERC-USRA in our lab. He studied the feeding ecology of green crabs in eastern Prince Edward Island, particularly in Souris and Basin Head.


Sarah Jones (BSc; no photo) studied microbiology and health in PEI lobster populations and was co-supervised by Spencer Greenwood.


Jonathan on boat_1

Jonathan Hill (BSc) studied the interactions between green crabs and invasive tunicates in areas of mussel aquaculture in eastern Prince Edward Island. His work was co-supervised by Jeff Davidson and was done in collaboration with DFO-Gulf Division.


Katrina Brown (BSc; no photo) studied decapod assemblages associated to shallow subtidal habitats of PEI’s North, East, and South shores.



Kyle MacMillan (BSc) was the first MacMillan of the lab. He studied green crab dispersal and sediment disturbance in PEI’s first and only Marine protected area (Basin Head), at the east coast of the island.


Katherine Dewar (BSc, no photo) did research on invertebrate communities associated to juvenile lobster habitats. Her research was co-supervised by Kevin Teather (Biology) and Gerhard Pohle (Huntsman Research Station).


My beautiful pictureMan-Sum Yao (BSc) was may very first honors student at UPEI; she studied oyster habitat in the Bras d’or lakes, Cape Breton, NS. Her work was co-supervised by Donna Giberson (Biology) and Jeff Davidson (AVC)


Photo credits

© K Murray: monitoring of inclusion experiments in southern PEI shorelines. The majority of the other (individual) pictures were taken by the students and are posted with their permission.