Volunteers Needed for Parasite Research!


Posted on July 26th, 2017

Help Dr. Blakeslee at ECU with her team’s research!

From Dr. Blakeslee:

We are collecting parasites from the small fish and snails that live in our tidal creeks using the collecting device below. We are interested in seeing if different types of shorelines have different kinds of parasites and what that can tell us about the health of the surrounding environment. We are collecting parasites from:  natural shorelines (sandy with oyster shell, or marsh), hardened shorelines (seawalls, riprap, bulkhead), and hybrid shorelines that are a blend of both.

How we collect parasites:

Crab Condo Example

Behold, the crab/fish “condo” collecting unit: A plastic milk crate filled with oyster shell, 8.5 inches long, by 7 inches wide by 6 inches deep

These are not traps. All organisms including crabs and fish can freely come and go. However, because the oyster shell provides good, stable habitat, it tends to serve as an ideal home for all kinds of critters.

We attach these condos under docks using rope, or stake them in waist-deep water using wooden stakes. The “condos” will not be visible to anyone, even at low tide, because they need to stay covered with water at all times. When we check on them, we remove all of the little fish, crabs, etc. and examine them for parasites in the lab at a later date

We would love your help! We just need:

Shoreline access – we are interested in deploying our condo units for at least a full year on multiple tidal creeks in NC. We would deploy two of these collecting devices on each property and check on them every 6-8 weeks, a process that usually takes about 30 – 45 minutes.

Check out more information by downloading the flyer about the project here.

Interested? Contact Christopher Moore, Doctoral Student – or (336) 577-6204.

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