Michael Acquafredda

Graduate Student

Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University
6959 Miller Avenue
Port Norris, NJ 08349-3176 USA

Michael Acquafredda

Research Interests

I'm interested in expanding aquaculture opportunities through ecologically-sound diversification. Currently, I’m studying numerous aspects of Atlantic surfclam (Spisula solidissima) aquaculture with the intention of developing methods that can be utilized by bivalve farmers to help diversify the Northeast’s aquaculture sector. I’m also investigating whether heat tolerance is a heritable trait in the surfclam since this species is vulnerable to high temperature conditions that will be exacerbated by climate change. Finally, I’m assessing the viability of bivalve polyculture in the context of a commercial bivalve farm by investigating the relationships between species richness and two metrics of ecosystem functioning: community particle clearance rate and productivity (biomass growth). My PI is Dr. Daphne Munroe, and we conduct our work at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.

Short History

I first became acquainted with marine science while I conducted my Eagle Scout Project as an oyster gardener with the NY/NJ Baykeeper. I later joined the Baykeeper as a technician, facilitating their Oyster Restoration Program.

In 2015, I received a BS in Biology from Tufts University. At Tufts, I conducted three years of independent research in two different laboratories. First, I worked in an organogenesis lab and created a disease model for studying human heart disease in the African claw-toed frog, Xenopus laevis. Later, I joined a marine invertebrate lab and studied the effects of hypoxia on the embryonic development of the marine polychaete, Capitella teleta.


  • 2015, BS Biology, summa cum laude, Tufts University
  • 2015-present, PhD student, Graduate Program in Ecology and Evolution, Rutgers University