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Biology Faculty—Nancy J. O'Connor

Biology


Nancy J. O’Connor

Professor
Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1990 

Email: noconnor@umassd.edu
Phone: 508-999-8217
Office: Science and Engineering, Room 336 A

 

 

 

My research addresses questions related to the ecology of marine invertebrates, particularly coastal species of crabs.

Many marine invertebrates have complex life cycles encompassing both planktonic larval stages and benthic juvenile and adult stages. The transition from planktonic to benthic life represents a critical stage in development of invertebrates.

What cues a larva to settle to the bottom of the ocean and metamorphose to a juvenile? My research focuses on habitat characteristics that stimulate or inhibit the settlement and metamorphosis (molting) of late-stage larvae of crabs, called megalopae, both in the laboratory and the field.

In addition, since the late 1990s my lab group has been investigating the ecological impacts of the invasion of the Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, on coastal ecosystems, focusing on the potential effects of the Asian shore crab on resident crab species and the incorporation of the crab into food webs as both predator and prey.




 Recent Publications | Graduate StudentsCourses

Recent Publications

  • O'Connor, N.J. 2014. Invasion dynamics on a temperate rocky shore: from early invasion to establishment of a marine invader. Biological Invasions 16: 73-87 
  • Savaria, M.C. and N.J. O'Connor. 2013. Predation of the non-native Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus by a native fish species, the cunner (Tautogolabrus adspersus). Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 449: 335-339
  • Rasch, J.A. and N.J. O’Connor. 2012. Development and behavior of megalopae of the non-native crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus in response to chemical cues from coastal fishes. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 416-417: 196-201
  • O'Connor, N.J. and M.L. Judge. 2010. Molting of megalopae of the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus in intertidal habitats of Northeastern North America. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 385: 92-97
  • O'Connor, N.J. 2007. Stimulation of molting in megalopae of the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus: physical and chemical cues. Marine Ecology Progress Series 352: 1-8 [Feature article]
  • Kim, A.K.A. and N.J. O'Connor. 2007. Early stages of the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus as potential prey for the striped killifish Fundulus majalis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 346: 28-35
  • O'Connor, N.J. and B.T. Van. 2006. Adult fiddler crabs Uca pugnax (Smith) enhance sediment-associated cues for molting of conspecific megalopae. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 335: 123-130
  • O'Connor, N.J. 2005. Influence of extracts of adult crabs on molting of fiddler crab megalopae (Uca pugnax). Marine Biology 146: 753-759
  • O'Connor, N.J. and M.L. Judge. 2004. Molting of fiddler crab Uca minax megalopae: stimulatory cues are specific to salt marshes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 282: 229-236
  • Bourdeau, P.E. and N.J. O'Connor. 2003. Predation by the nonindigenous Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus on macroalgae and molluscs. Northeastern Naturalist 10: 319-334 [Cover article]
  • Ledesma, M. E. and N. J. O'Connor. 2001. Habitat and diet of the non-native crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus in southern New England. Northeastern Naturalist 8: 63-78



Recent Graduate Students

Ami Araujo
Behavior of crab megalopae in response to chemicals from fishes
(in progress)

Johanna C. Blasi
Marine amphipods as prey for the non-indigenous crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan 1853)
(graduated May 2003)

Christina Guidoboni
Attraction of crabs to materials used in bivalve aquaculture
(in progress)

Anita K. Kim
The Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, as a novel food source for the striped killifish, Fundulus majalis
(graduated June 2002)

Jennifer A. Rasch
Influence of fish allelochemicals on development and behavior of megalopae of the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus
(graduated May 2008)

Michael Savaria
Potential predation of the Asian shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, by cunner, Tautogolabrus adspersus
(graduated May 2013)

Kelly A. Simmons
Competition for shelter between indigenous mud crabs and the nonindigenous Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus
(graduated January 2004)

Heather R. Spence
Recruitment of the invaders: Factors affecting distribution of early stage Hemigrapsus sanguineus and other crabs in southeastern New England with implications for shellfish aquaculture
(graduated January 2008)



Courses

Courses Professor O'Connor has taught include:

BIO 314   General Ecology
BIO 317   Biology of Invertebrates
BIO 526   Marine Benthic Ecology

 

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