Mark Beekey, Ph.D.

Mark Beekey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Professional Interests: Invertebrate Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, Restoration Ecology

Activities & Affiliations

  • Member of Horseshoe crab red list team for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List)
  • Manuscript Reviewer for Biological Invasions, Journal of Experimental and Marine Biology and Ecology, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Journal of North American Benthological Society, Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, Current Zoology, Northeastern Naturalist
  • Grant reviewer for National Sea Grant, NSF – Research in Undergraduate Institutions Program, EPA STAR Fellowship Program.
  • Member of Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation, New England Estuary Research Society, Benthic Ecology Society

Degrees and Certifications

    • B.S.  1994.  Ecology, Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA
    • Ph.D.  2001.  Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
    • Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Teaching Responsibilities

    • BI111/113 Concepts in Biology I
    • BI112/114 Concepts in Biology II
    • BI202/204 Populations to Ecosystems
    • BI240 – Invertebrate Biology
    • BI260 – Marine Biology
    • BI278 – Coastal Ecology of Ireland

Research Interests & Grants

    Research

    • Understanding the interactions and feedbacks between natural systems and human systems in coastal environments – This research is ongoing in Dingle, Ireland in collaboration with the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium and Cork University.  Part of this project supports summer internships with the aquarium for undergraduate students.  Students spend 10 weeks in Dingle Ireland working with the Aquarium to collect and analyze data for the research project.   Ultimately we are working towards developing a model for sustainable coastal development and tourism.  Collaborators include Drs. John Rapaglia and LaTina Steele from the Biology Department, Dr. John Roney (History), Dr. Gerald Reid (Sociology), and Drs. Joshua Shuart and Enda McGovern from the Welch College of Business.

    • Understanding the population dynamics of horseshoe crabs with respect to habitat requirements, reproductive behavior, population demographics, and dispersal - We are currently focusing our horseshoe crab research efforts on defining the habitat requirements for juvenile horseshoe crabs along with an investigation of their growth and survivorship.  We continue to monitor spawning populations of horseshoe crabs through extensive involvement of citizen scientists.  Collaborators include Dr. Jennifer Mattei.

    • Investigating how we can use living shorelines or other green infrastructure to stabilize coastal shorelines while increasing biodiversity and habitat complexity in Long Island Sound.  Given past human development along the coasts along with rising sea levels and the increasing frequency and intensity of storms, coastal habitats are quickly deteriorating and eroding into the Sound.  We have installed a pilot living shoreline in Stratford, CT in cooperation with the CTDEEP to test if this strategy will restore and protect coastlines into the future.  Collaborators include Drs. Jennifer Mattei, John Rapaglia, and LaTina Steele.

    • I maintain my interest in how invasive invertebrates influence aquatic communities with regards to aquatic community structure and stability as well as how evolution shapes life history strategies of aquatic invertebrates.

    • I also work with the Isabelle Farrington College of Education to develop innovative approaches to teaching science in K-12 grade levels.  Over the past few years we have been working Connecticut's Department of Higher Education to teach elementary and middle school teachers science content and delivery methods with respect to NGSS.

    Grants

    2014 - New Terrain for Pre-service and In-service Teachers of Science and Mathematics: Building Facility with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards in a Cyber-Enabled Environment.  CT Mathematics and Science Partnership Program-Phase II.  $378,086.

    2014 – New Terrain for Pre-service and In-service Teachers of Science and Mathematics: Building Facility with the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards in a Cyber-Enabled Environment.  CT Mathematics and Science Partnership Program-Phase I.  $349,546.

    2014 – Abiotic and biotic assessment of Stratford Point.  Co-PI with Drs. Jennifer Mattei, John Rapaglia, and LaTina Steele.  DuPont Corporation.  $19,450.00.

    2014.  Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  $25,000.

    2014 – Housatonic River Estuarine Ecosystem Restoration Project, Stratford Point, CT.  Co PI withJennifer Mattei, John Rapaglia, and LaTina Steele, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Long Island Sound Futures Fund, $59,056.

    2014 –Assessment of Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Habitat and Age Class Structure in Long Island Sound. Co-PI with Jennifer Mattei.Department of Biology, Sacred Heart UniversityConnecticut Sea Grant.  $103,650.

    2013 - Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  $25,000.

    2013 – Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Long Island Sound Futures Fund.  $24,730.

    2012 – Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  $24,500.

    2012 - Discovery, Invention, Innovation and the Evolution of Technology: A Middle School STEM Unit.  2012 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program.  Connecticut Department of Higher Education.  Co-PI with Dr. Paul Massey, Education Department, Sacred Heart University.  $132,080.

    2012 - Project Limulus Development Grant.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Connecticut Sea Grant.  $3,815.

    2011 – Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  $24,450

    2011 – Restoration of a coastal shoreline at Stratford Point, CT.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University and Anton Leenders, Connecticut Audubon Society.  National Fish and Wildlife and Wildlife Long Island Sound Futures Fund.  $54,854.

    2011 – Restoration of a coastal shoreline at Stratford Point, CT.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University and Anton Leenders, Connecticut Audubon Society.  Connecticut Wetlands Restoration Partnership.  $14,955.

    2011 – Stratford Point Coastal Restoration Project.  The Nature Conservancy.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University and Anton Leenders, Connecticut Audubon Society.  $23,355.00.

    2008 – “An Integrated Management Plan for the Long Island Sound Stewardship Area Milford Point”  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  Co-PI with Jennifer Mattei.  $40,000.

    Population Ecology of Horseshoe crabs

    2012 – Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Long Island Sound Futures Fund.  $24,730.

    2012 – Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  $25,000.

    2012 - Project Limulus Development Grant.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Connecticut Sea Grant.  $3,815.

    2011 – Project Limulus: A community research program.  Co-PI with Dr. Jennifer Mattei, Department of Biology, Sacred Heart University.  Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.  $24,450

    2008 - 2010 – “Population Dynamics of Horseshoe Crabs and their Ecological Links to other species in Long Island Sound.”  Connecticut Sea Grant.  Co-PI with Jennifer Mattei, Kirk Bartholomew, and Barbara Pierce. $60,648.

    2008 - Predation on horseshoe crab eggs terrestrial and aquatic predators in Long Island Sound.  Sacred Heart University Research and Creativity Grant.  $5,500.

    Invasive Species Ecology

    2007 - “Emerging threats to the Lake Champlain Ecosystem”.  National Sea Grant.  Associate Investigator with Co-Principle Investigators Dr. Ellen Marsden, Dr. Mary Watzin, and Dr. Susanne Levine of the University of Vermont.  National Sea Grant Program.  $450,000.

    2002-2003 – “Effect of zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments on foraging success and habitat choice by benthic fish”.  Co-P.I. with Dr. Ellen Marsden and Dr. Declan McCabe.  National Sea Grant Aquatic Nuisance Species Program.  $124,000.

    2001-2002 – “Effects of zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments on burrowing invertebrates and insectivorous fish”.  Co - P.I. with Dr. Ellen Marsden.  EPA EPSCoR.  $60,000.

    Education and Pedagogy Grants

    2012 - Discovery, Invention, Innovation and the Evolution of Technology: A Middle School STEM Unit.  2012 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program.  Connecticut Department of Higher Education.  Co-PI with Dr. Paul Massey, Education Department, Sacred Heart University.  $132,080.

    2010 – “Combining Inquiry and Earth science in Elementary Science Education (Year three of Combining Life/Physical/Earth Science in Elementary Science Education). 2010 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program.  Connecticut Department of Higher Education.  Co-PI with Dr. Paul Massey, Education Department, Sacred Heart University.  $196,031. 2009 - Combining Inquiry and Applied Physics in Elementary Science Education. 

    2009 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program.  Connecticut Department of Higher Education.  Co-PI with Paul Massey, Education Department, Sacred Heart University.  $135,226.

    2008 – “Ecosystems Ecology for Elementary Education”.  Math/Science Partnership Grant.  Connecticut State Department of Education.  Co-PI with Jennifer Mattei.  $22,490.

    2008 – Combining Inquiry and Ecosystem Ecology in Elementary Science Education.  Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program.  Connecticut State Department of Higher Education.  Co-PI with Paul Massey, Education Department, Sacred Heart University.  $140,000.

    >> Collaboration with Irish Aquarium Establishes SHU as a Member of the International Coastal Research Community

Publications and Presentations

Contact Information

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