New Approaches to Understanding Emerging Marine Diseases: From Science to Management

9th Annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium
August 10-11, 2010

Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences
University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI

For results of this symposium, please download the Research Results fact sheet or the New Information and Tools fact sheet.

Researchers trying to understand disease emergence are dealing with complex, multi-scale, and variable systems. Traditional approaches using cause-and-effect methods are difficult to apply when systems are at ecosystem levels and risk factors are non-linear. New techniques to examine diseases are being used to explain disease outbreaks. Triangulation is a process of gathering information about a system through field, laboratory, model, and historical investigations facilitated by a cross-disciplinary research group. This new approach has been used in the investigation of shell disease for American lobster by researchers and their staff and students from 14 institutions. As one team, experts in the fields of crustacean endocrinology, genetics, veterinary medicine, behavior, microbiology, lobster biology, chemistry, environmental science, and epidemiology have worked together with fishermen and managers for three years to uncover the dynamics of shell disease. This symposium will include a special workshop on shell disease in American Lobster.