June 2021
News from the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
Scientists at IMET have successfully sequenced the blue crab genome! This means that for the first time, we have a complete picture of all the DNA that makes up Maryland’s favorite crustacean. By knowing the full genome, we’re now several steps closer to identifying genes that affect growth, reproduction, and disease susceptibility. That kind of information can help fisheries managers maintain sustainable blue crab stocks, leading to a healthy Bay ecosystem, a strong regional economy, and many Maryland crab feasts.

The sequencing of the Blue Crab Genome was led by Dr. Sook Chung and made possible by the support of the following generous donors: The G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, Mike and Trish Davis, Don and Cathy MacMurray, James J. Albrecht, Bertram and Debbie Winchester, Arnold and Alison Richman, Maryland Sea Grant, Arthur Jib Edwards, Jum Sook Chung, Richard L. Franyo, Edward St. John Foundation, Tom and Nancy Reynolds, James E. Connell, Russell T. Hill, Bill and Chris Hufnell, David Balcom, J. Mitchell Neitzey, James and Jenny Corckran, Richard and Maureen Roden, Nicholas L. Hammond
FISH Project feeds 23,600
In a unique partnership between IMET, United Way of Central Maryland, JJ McDonnell, and McCormick’s Flavor for Life, the “Feeding Individuals to Support Health,” or FISH Project, supports sustainable aquaculture research, food access, and healthy eating habits. Since starting in 2017, the FISH project has provided 23,600 meals to Baltimore area residents.
Connecting young scientists to research opportunities
Olivia Pares, a student in the Schott Lab, has been helping high school students in Baltimore and Puerto Rico develop independent research projects. In April, she and her lab traveled to Puerto Rico to meet some of those students for the first time and carry out hands-on research projects.
Mingli Zhao and Olivia Pares work with a crab in the lab
Preventing the spread of blue crab viruses
With a new grant from Maryland Sea Grant, Ph.D. candidate Mingli Zhao is researching viruses in blue crabs. She aims to understand the role of interstate transportation of crabs in spreading disease. She's sharing this knowledge with fisheries managers, crabbers, and fish dealers, helping to protect the blue crab population and its contributions to Maryland's economy.
IMET summer internship begins
Ten undergraduate interns are hard at work analyzing data, learning about science communication, and exploring STEM career opportunities. This is the 20th year of the IMET Summer Internship, which recruits minoritized students for hands-on research internships. You can learn more about their projects by following the blog!
Dr. Rose Jagus honored with UMCES President's award
UMCES President Peter Goodwin awarded the President’s Award for Excellence in Application of Science to Rosemary Jagus, professor in molecular genetics, for her contributions to increasing the diversity of scientists working in the marine sciences over the past two decades.
Congratulations, graduates!!
We are so proud of our five 2020-2021 graduates! They worked on diverse projects from understanding Jonah Crab life histories to how marine sponges cycle phosphorus. Click the link below to learn more about the graduates and their research.
Dr. Colleen Burge by a computer in her lab
Dr. Colleen Burge reflects on seven years at IMET
For the past seven years, Dr. Colleen Burge has made great progress in understanding a deadly oyster virus and advising students. Now, Colleen will bring her expertise to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Research Supervisor, continuing shellfish pathology research while playing a new role in environmental management and policy.
Students pitch their business ideas
The Ratcliffe Environmental Entrepreneurship Fellowship (REEF) Program concluded in April with a business pitch competition. Each of nine students skillfully articulated their business vision in short presentations to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors. The judges were impressed with the caliber of the class this year, and three students were selected for prizes: Mengqi Sun for "Most Investable Product," Kia Ramarui for "Best Presentation," and Catherine Fitzgerald for "Spirit of Entrepreneurship." Congrats to the entire REEF class of 2021! 
Dive Deeper: Other News From IMET
Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
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