Newswise — STONY BROOK, NY, January 10 , 2019 –Horseshoe crabs have been on earth since before dinosaurs, and they are an important part of the life ecosystem, as multiple marine animals, such as migratory shorebirds and Loggerhead sea turtles, depend on horseshoe crabs for food. Horseshoe crabs also play an integral role in human health advancements, as compounds in their blood can detect bacterial pathogens. These have been used in medical supplies to reduce the risk of infection. Therefore, being able to track the underwater seasonal movements of Atlantic horseshoe crabs would provide insight into their habitat use and help facilitate horseshoe crab management strategies. Justin Bopp, a Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) PhD student, is using a method of acoustic telemetry to track horseshoe crab movements.

Two technologies are required to carry out the research – a passive acoustic receiver that is placed underneath the water’s surface and “listens” for sound signals emitted by acoustic transmitters, which are attached to the shell surface of each horseshoe crab.

So far, Bopp has tracked more than 80 crabs in the New York region. He hopes the research will lead to new understandings of important horseshoe crab habitats, migration patterns, and conservation practices.

The research is funded by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Ocean and Great Lakes award.


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Stony Brook University, widely regarded as a SUNY flagship,  is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish.  Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 25,700 students and 2,500 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S.News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of $6.4 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.