Richard (Rick) Wahle, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone: 207.563.8297

CV: Link to Wahle CV


Lab website: Link to Wahle Lab Website

Darling Marine Center
193 Clarks Cove Road
Walpole, ME  04573


Ph.D., Zoology, University of Maine, 1990
M.S., Biology, San Francisco State University, 1982
B.A., Zoology, University of New Hampshire, 1977


I am broadly interested in the influences of the ocean’s physical and biotic environment on the population dynamics and distribution of marine benthic organisms. Much of my research integrates the fields of ecology, oceanography, and fishery science toward a better mechanistic understanding of marine populations and communities. I have a particularly long-standing research program on the American lobster for which I and my collaborators are striving to develop predictive tools for population trends through an understanding of larval transport, settlement, and post-settlement processes.


  • Geraldi, N.R.*, Wahle, R.A. Dunnington, M.J. 2009. Habitat effects on American lobster catch and movement: Insights from geo-referenced trap arrays, seabed mapping, and tagging. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 66: 460-470.
  • Wahle, R.A., M. Gibson, M.J. Fogarty. 2009. Distinguishing disease impacts from larval supply effects in a lobster fishery collapse. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 376: 185–192. doi: 10.3354/meps07803 (Selected as Editors’ Choice in Science 323:1406b; 3/13/09)
  • Wahle, R.A., C. Bergeron*, C. Wilson, M. Parkhurst. 2009. A vessel-deployed passive post-larval collector for the American lobster. New Zealand J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 43: 465 -474.
  • Wahle, R.A., C.E. Bergeron*, A. Chute, Y. Chen, L. Jacobson. 2008. Northwest Atlantic deep-sea red crab before and after the onset of harvesting. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 65: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsn058
  • Frumhoff, P.C., J.J. McCarthy, J.M. Melillo, S.C. Moser, and D.J. Wuebbles. 2007. Confronting Climate Change in the U.S. Northeast: Science, Impacts, and Solutions. Synthesis report of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment (NECIA). Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). (Member of contributing team of white paper authors)
  • Selgrath, J., K*. Hovel, R. Wahle. 2007. Effects of habitat edges on American lobster abundance & survival. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 353: 253–264.
  • O’Donnell, K.P.*, Wahle, R.A., Dunnington, M.J., M. Bell. 2007. Spatially referenced trap arrays detect sediment disposal impacts in a New England estuary. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 348: 249–260.
  • Incze, L. S, R. A. Wahle, N. Wolff, C. Wilson, R. Steneck, E. Annis*, P. Lawton, H. Xue, and Y. Chen. 2006. Early life history and a modeling framework for lobster (Homarus americanus) populations in the Gulf of Maine. Journal of Crustacean Biology: 26: 555-564.
  • Wahle, R.A. and Fogarty, M.J. 2006. Chapter 1 – Growth. In: B. Phillips (ed.), Lobsters: Biology, management, aquaculture and fisheries. Sinauer & Assoc. Pp. 1-44.
  • Gaudette, J.*, R. A. Wahle, R.A., and J. Himmelman. 2006. Spawning events in small and large populations of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. Limnol. & Oceanogr. 51:1485-1496.
  • Wahle, R.A. (Guest Editor) 2006. Proceedings of Sea Grant Science Symposium 2005: Lobsters as model organisms at the interface of ecology, behavior and fisheries. Journal of Crustacean Biology 26 (4).
  • Gibson, M. & Wahle, R.A. 2005. Disease impacts on recruitment to coastal Rhode Island lobster populations. Proceedings of Workshop on Shell Disease, March 2005. New England Aquarium Publication .
  • Dunnington, M.J., R.A. Wahle, M.C. Bell, N.R. Geraldi*. 2005. Evaluating local population dynamics of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, with trap-based mark-recapture methods and seabed mapping. N. Z. J. Mar. Freshw. Res. 39: 1253-1276.
  • Wahle, RA., L.S.Incze, M. Fogarty. 2004. First projections of American lobster Homarus americanus recruitment from a settlement index. Bull. Mar. Sci. 74: 101-114.
  • Incze, L.S., Wolff, N., Wahle, R.A. 2003. Can scientific observations of early life stages be scaled up to the level of a fished population? A case study using Homarus americanus. Fish. Res. 65: 33-46.
  • Wahle, R.A. 2003. Revealing the stock-recruitment relationship in lobsters and crabs: Is experimental ecology the key? Fish. Res. 65: 3-32.
  • Wahle, R.A. and A. Gilbert* 2002. Detecting spawning by the green sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) with time-integrated fertilization assays. Mar. Biol. 140: 375-382.
  • Wahle, R.A., O. Tully, and V. O’Donovan*. 2001. Environmentally mediated crowding effects on growth, survival and metabolic rate of juvenile American lobster (Homarus americanus). Mar. Freshw. Res. 52: 1157-1166.
  • Castro, K., Cobb, J.S., Wahle, R.A., Catena, J. 2001. Habitat addition and stock enhancement for American lobsters, Homarus americanus. Mar. Freshw. Res. 52: 1253-1261.
  • Incze, L.S., R.A. Wahle, A. Palma*. 2000. Advection and settlement rates in a benthic invertebrate: recruitment to first benthic stage in Homarus americanus. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 57: 430-437.
  • Wahle, R.A. 2000. Fisheries in a sea of change: Ecology and oceanography of New England’s fishing grounds.Proceeding of the Sea Grant symposium on the history and future of New England’s offshore fishing grounds. Connecticut College, April, 1999. Northeast Naturalist. 7: 317-328
  • Cobb, J.S., M. Clancy*, R.A. Wahle. 1999. In: L.R. Benaka (ed.) Fish habitat: Essential Fish habitat and rehabilitation. Habitat-based assessment of lobster abundance: a case study of an oil spill. Proceedings of the Sea Grant symposium on fish habitat, Hartford, CT 26-27 Aug. 1998. Am. Fish. Soc. Symp. 22: 285-298.
  • James-Pirri, M.J.*, J.S. Cobb, and R.A. Wahle. 1998. Influence of settlement time and size on post-settlement growth in the American lobster (Homarus americanus). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 55: 2436-2446.
  • Palma, A. T.*, R. A.Wahle, and R. S.Steneck. 1998. Different early post-settlement strategies between American lobsters (Homarus americanus) and rock crabs (Cancer irroratus) in the Gulf of Maine. Mar.Ecol. Prog. Ser. 162: 215-225.
  • Wahle, RA 1998. A cradle-to-grave approach to lobster stock assessment and enhancement. In : Gendron, L. (ed) Proceedings of a workshop on lobster stock enhancement, Magdalen Islands, Quebec. Oct. 29-31, 1997. Can. Industry Rept Fish. Aquat. Sci. 244: 85-92.
  • Wahle, R.A. 1997. Consequences of fishing, with regard to lobster fisheries: report from a workshop. Mar & Freshw. Res. 48: 1115-1120.
  • Incze, L.S., R.A. Wahle, JS. Cobb. 1997. Quantitative relationships between postlarval supply and benthic recruitment in the American lobster. Mar & Freshw. Res. 48: 729-743.
  • Wahle, R.A. and L.S. Incze. 1997. Pre- and post-settlement processes in recruitment of the American lobster. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 217: 179-207.
  • Bertness, M., S. Gaines and R.A.Wahle. 1996. Wind-driven settlement patterns in the acorn barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 137: 103-110.
  • Wahle, R.A., O.Tully, and V. O’Donovan*. 1996.Lipofuscin as an indicator of age in crustaceans: analysis of the pigment in the lobster, H. americanus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 138: 117-123.
  • Wahle, R.A. 1995. A trans-Atlantic perspective on lobster recruitment and enhancement. Proceedings Workshop on Lobster Enhancement. Norwegian Inst. Marine Research. June 1995.
  • Wahle, R.A., L.S. Incze, and J.S. Cobb. 1994. Targeting lobster enhancement: understanding the interaction of habitat and larval supply. Proceedings Workshop on Fisheries Enhancement. University College Galway, Ireland. April, 1994.
  • Cobb, J.S., & R.A. Wahle.1994. Early life history and recruitment processes of clawed lobsters: a review. Crustaceana 67: 1-25.
  • Wahle, R.A. 1993. Gimme shelter. Natural History 102: 42-49.
  • Wahle, R.A. 1993. Recruitment to American lobster populations along an estuarine gradient. Estuaries 16: 731-738.
  • Wahle, R.A. 1992. Body-size-dependent anti-predator mechanisms of the American lobster and a model of their trade-offs. Oikos 65:52-60.
  • Wahle, R. A. & R.S. Steneck. 1992. Habitat restrictions in early benthic life: experiments on substratum selection and in situ predation with the American lobster. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 157: 91-114.
  • Wahle, R.A. 1992. Substratum constraints on body size and the behavioral scope of shelter use in the American lobster. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 159: 59-75.
  • Williams, A.B., & R.A. Wahle. 1992. How to distinguish juvenile stages of Jonah and Atlantic rock crabs,Cancer borealis & C. irroratus. J. Crust. Biol. 12: 464-466.
  • Wahle, R. A. & R.S. Steneck. 1991. Recruitment habitats and nursery grounds of the American lobster (Homarus americanus): a demographic bottleneck? Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 69: 231-243.
  • Incze, L. and R.A. Wahle. 1991. Recruitment from pelagic to early benthic phase in lobsters Homarus americanus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 79: 77-87.
  • Wahle, R. A. 1990. Recruitment, habitat selection, and the impact of predators on the early benthic phase of the American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards). PhD dissertation. University of Maine. 137 pp.
  • Wahle, R. A. 1985. Feeding ecology of Crangon franciscorum and Crangon nigricauda in San Francisco Bay, California. J. Crustacean Biol. 52: 311-326.