Restoring North Carolina’s oyster reefs

“When I came to North Carolina in the fall of 2010 as a research technician, I had never considered conducting research on oysters.” — Justin Ridge

Now, oysters are at the heart of marine sciences doctoral student Justin Ridge’s research. After working on several projects for the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, Ridge began to appreciate oysters for the environmental benefits to North Carolina’s estuaries and coasts, and for their cultural and economic importance. But North Carolina’s oyster population has dramatically fallen during the past century. Ridge’s model for measuring fine-scale oyster reef growth using a laser scanner and his findings have already been incorporated into several efforts to restore North Carolina’s oyster population.

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The Graduate School’s annual Graduate Education Advancement Board (GEAB) Impact Awards recognize graduate students for contributions they are making to our state. These awards are possible thanks to the unwavering support of GEAB.

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