Erin McLean



My research focuses on the consequences of ocean acidification on two different invertebrates: squids and lobsters. The rising concentrations of CO2 entering the ocean are acidifying the water, which can have negative effects on organismal acid-base balance within the body. Because squids are a highly active species with a highly sensitive respiratory protein (hemocyanin), it is hypothesized that they will not be able to compensate for the increased seawater acidity. The second study animal, the American lobster, uses bicarbonate in the water (a product of CO2 and H2O) to synthesize calcium carbonate for its shell. Increased acidity may affect their ability to build new shells as they mature; to investigate this problem, I will be monitoring molting activity and shell composition in juvenile lobsters.