Bruce MacDonald Lab

Research

Bruce MacDonald

My research program focuses on how marine suspension-feeding invertebrates are adapted to local habitats, particularly any physiological or behavioural mechanisms that facilitate energy gain to support growth and reproduction.

This includes establishing the relationships between characteristics of the food supply (quantity and quality) and feeding strategies or mechanisms that may assist in the capture, election and conversion of suspended particulate matter to biomass.

To accomplish this I have established research collaborations with ecologists, physiologists and oceanographers from other academic institutions and government agencies. We have developed several new techniques, including video endoscopy and underwater time-lapse, to assess feeding activity in the laboratory and in the field using a variety of artificial and natural food particles.

Studies on marine bivalves, such as scallops, clams, mussels and oysters are of particular interest because of their ecological significance and commercial value in wild fisheries. Many of these species of molluscan shellfish are being evaluated for their potential to support aquaculture industries in Atlantic Canada.

Related link: Quantifying the capture and conversion efficiencies of species being considered for organic extraction in open-water IMTA systems (D1P1)