Modeling Vibrio Window of Concern Can Benefit Shellfish Industry and Consumers


Mike_Whitney_web Mike Whitney, a marine scientist at the University of Connecticut, is working to help control or prevent possible outbreaks of illness from Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacteria normally present in sea water. When Vibrio concentrations rise during warm summer conditions, the harmful bacteria can accumulate in shellfish and cause illness for human consumers.  Whitney leads a team that has been examining Vibrio samples taken in Connecticut oyster-growing locations, and incorporating their observations into a hydrodynamic computer model. Combining these observations with data on the physical properties of Long Island Sound waters, such as variations of temperature, salinity and flow, provides a good estimation of exactly when and where Vibrio might concentrate enough to become a threat.  UConn marine scientist, Evan Ward and Kristin DeRosia-Banick from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Aquaculture are also part of the project team.