Heidi Yeh

Graduate Student

71 Dudley Rd
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Heidi Yeh

Research Interests

I am interested in the ways that the oyster microbiome potentially contributes to disease-resistance and affects nutrient-cycling in estuaries. Employing microbiome-aware techniques in oyster aquaculture processes might improve oyster survival and product shelf-life. Oysters are often consumed whole and raw, so the health of the microbiome is particularly consequential to the humans that consume them. I intend to primarily employ next-generation sequencing techniques and other molecular tools to study the impact of various aquaculture processes on the microbial community housed within the oyster. My PI is Dr. David Bushek and our work is based at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.

Short History

Growing up in Vermont fostered my passion for sustainability, which I followed by studying environmental science at Barnard College. My first research experience at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory introduced me to algae cultivation techniques. This came in helpful for my EPA internship (GRO-U fellowship) the following summer for which I tested the effect of pharmaceutical contamination in wastewater on lipid accumulation in microalgae. Following the completion of my undergraduate degree I used my algae cultivation skills yet again to assist Mystic Aquarium in the establishment of its marine ornamental aquaculture program. During this time that I was becoming interested in aquaculture as a way to sustainably produce fish, I was also becoming a prolific home-chef. Studying oceanography has been an effective way to combine my newfound passion for food and the science of sustainable food production. I completed a master’s degree at UConn, for which I studied the diet of copepods. Through this experience, I gained molecular skills that have proven essential to support my new interest in studying the microbiome, which I am now pursuing in the context of oyster aquaculture at Rutgers University.


2014, BA Environmental Science, Barnard College, Columbia University

2018, MS Oceanography, University of Connecticut – Avery Point

2018-present, PhD Student, Graduate Program in Oceanography, Rutgers University