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Dr. Carmela Cuomo, who is studying animal/sediment relationships in low-oxygen environments.

The Marine Sciences Research Center welcomes two new Coastal Marine Scholars. Dr. Carmela Cuomo and Dr. William Dennison will be carrying out research at the Center for the coming year. Dr. Cuomo is a geologist and marine benthic ecologist. She received her Ph.D. degree from Yale University in 1984 with a dissertation on the ecological and paleoecological significance of sulfides in marine sediments. During the coming year Dr. Cuomo intends to continue her research on muddy sediments. She plans a project which will determine whether Mya arenaria larvae use the presence of hydrogen sulfide as a cue in settlement. This research may have direct applications for Long Island’s soft clam industry. She also plans to look at the effect of environmental factors on the development of polychaetes, and at the distribution of the oxygen minimum zone facies in Precambrian and Paleozoic marine shales.

Dr. William Dennison conducting an experiment on the physiological ecology of seagrass.

Dr. Dennison is a plant physiologist specializing in marine vascular plants. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1984 with a dissertation on the adaptive physiology of the seagrass Zostera marina. Dr. Dennison will be working with Doug Capone on the nitrogen cycle in seagrass sediments in Great South Bay. Specifically, Dr. Dennison will investigate the relationship between nitrogen availability and plant growth. He also intends to determine how oxygen is transported within the roots and leaves of Zostera, and is developing additional projects with Drs. Gerard, Malouf and Siddall.


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