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Name: Baker, Shirley
Title: Associate Professor
Organization: Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Education: Ph.D., Marine Science, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, 1994
Office Address: PO Box 110600 Gainesville, FL, US32611-0600
Email: sbaker25@ufl.edu
Telephone: +1 (352) 273-3627

My research focuses on the physiology and ecology of marine, estuarine and freshwater invertebrates, especially bivalves. My current research interests include the feeding, respiratory, and reproductive physiology of marine bivalves. One of my long-term research goals is to enhance the sustainable development of open-water clam farming. I am also interested in the consequences of biological invasions and anthropogenic disturbances on the ecology and physiology of invertebrates. My methods bridge and integrate several levels of research; from comparative physiology, functional morphology and biochemistry at the level of the organism, to remote sensing at the level of the ecosystem. Water quality and weather monitoring stations have been installed at ten clam aquaculture lease areas by Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) Division of Aquaculture staff. Along with DACS, the my lab is lead investigator on the multi-lab CLAMMRS Project (Clam Lease Assessment, Management and Modeling using Remote Sensing). This project, funded by the USDA, addresses the needs of an important emerging agricultural industry, the hard clam aquaculture industry, through a series of interrelated research, extension, and education activities. In addition to creating a water quality data base to document events associated with crop loss, we are determining the impact of food resource availability and quality on clam productivity (Phlips Lab, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences), filling gaps in knowledge of Florida clam physiology and response to stressors (Baker Lab), and developing a computer simulation model of Florida clam production (Montague Lab, Environmental Engineering Sciences). For more information, see http://shellfish.ifas.ufl.edu/clammrs.htm.The green mussel, Perna viridis, native to the Persian Gulf and the Philippines, has been introduced throughout the Indo-Pacific, appeared in the Caribbean in 1989 and, by 1999, had invaded Florida, USA. P. viridis initially spread south from its point of origin in Tampa Bay, Florida, with prevailing coastal currents. In 2002 it invaded northeast Florida. Prior invasion patterns and laboratory tolerance trials conducted in my lab suggest cold temperatures will limit northward range expansion to the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern United States. Our studies indicate that P. viridis out-competes the native and ecologically important eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica. For more information, see http://greenmussel.ifas.ufl.edu/.