Researcher of the Week: Brian Preziosi

Brian Preziosi is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maine and a SEANET Research Fellow in Theme 2: Changing Environments. Preziosi’s research is primarily concerned with environmental impacts on invertebrates, specifically looking at sediment acidification as it influences the behavior and health of adult razor clams in the state of Maine. This work has resulted in some fascinating findings.

“One [result] is the development of a method that allows you to acidify your sediment pH by almost a whole pH unit of the control,” Preziosi explains. “Researchers have traditionally bubbled CO₂ to set up sediment acidification experiments, but this method makes use of the microbes already in the sediment surface as the CO₂ source. The result is a more natural method to acidify sediment pH in the lab.”

This method has authorized research which could have constructive implications for the budding aquaculture market in Maine. Having a resilient species of clam in the Gulf of Maine’s changing environment would imply a positive outlook for the sustainability of the aquaculture industry, and this research hopes to contribute to that by testing these acidification methods on adult razor clams.

“[The environment is changing] and having a huge impact, and that’s why we need to research potential […] mitigation strategies,” Preziosi says. “How do we deal with these changing environments, and how can growers still grow successfully?”

These are big questions for SEANET, and Preziosi, to be asking, but the research continues. After graduate school, Preziosi hopes to continue working on his passion for research and marine science.

“I’ve spent a lot of my life learning how to do it right, and getting a lot of skills under my belt, in terms of research, and I enjoy that,” says Preziosi. “So I am looking to pursue a research career that allows me to put those skills to good use.”