Battle of the Filter Feeders: Bacterial Transmission in the Presence of Ascidians
Marine diseases are a major cost to fisheries and aquaculture industries, and as we continuously rely on marine organisms for protein, we increase our interaction with illnesses like gastroenteritis from undercooked oysters. An additional danger to aquaculture industries are the infestation of invasive ascidian species that can compete for space and food thus creating smaller harvest yields. For this proposal, the goal is to take two existing problems in aquaculture and discover if invasive can filter feedings ascidians can alter the transmission of Vibrios bacteria in the water column. If the benefits of using ascidians as biofilters outweighs the risks, then the management of marine diseases can be viewed from a new perspective.