Mark Beekey, Ph.D.

Mark Beekey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Invertebrate Ecology, Aquatic Ecology, Restoration Ecology

Professional Interests, Activities and Affiliations

  • Member of Horseshoe crab red list team for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List)
  • Vice-Chair, Western Long Island Sound Council of the Long Island Sound Assembly (LISA)
  • Long Island Sound Assembly Representative to the US Army Corps of Engineers Long Island Sound Dredged Material Management Plan Workgroup (USACE LIS DMMP)
  • LISA representative to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Long Island Sound Stewardship Workgroup
  • 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, Wood’s Hole Sea Grant, Ohio Sea Grant, NSF – Research in Undergraduate Institutions Program
  • Member of New England Estuary Research Society, Benthic Ecology Society, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology

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
    • BI299 – Coastal Ecology of Ireland
    • ESAM543 – Restoration Ecology

Research Interests & Grants

    Description of Research Interests

    My current research focuses on (1) the population dynamics of horseshoe crabs with respect to reproductive behavior, population demographics; and dispersal; and (2) integrating ecosystem management techniques with coastal restoration projects.  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.   My restoration ecology research currently focuses on the use of living shorelines or green infrastructure to stabilize coastal shorelines while increasing biodiversity and habitat complexity.  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 at the elementary and middle school 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.

    Restoration Ecology and Ecosystem Management

    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

    View Publications

    Population Ecology of Horseshoe Crabs

    Beekey, MA, JH Mattei, BJ Pierce.  2013.  Horseshoe crab eggs: A rare resource for predators in Long Island Sound.  Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.  439:152-159.

    Mattei JH, Beekey MA, Potter HR, Bond CS, Woronik AR, Roberts JA, Smith KA. 2011.  Estimation of short-term Tag-induced mortality in horseshoe crabs Limulus polyphemus, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, 140(4): 954-958.

    Kasinak, J, K Bartholomew, MA Beekey and JH Mattei.  In Press.  Movement Patterns and Population Genetics of the American Horseshoe Crab in Relation to Long Island Sound Conservation Strategies.  Proceedings of the 2010 Biennial Long Island Sound Research Conference.  University of Connecticut, Stamford, CT.

    Mattei JH, MA Beekey, A Rudman, and A Woronik.  2010.  Reproductive behavior in horseshoe crabs: Does density matter?  Current Zoology.  56(5): 633-641.

    Beekey, M.A. and J.H. Mattei. 2010.  Thank a horseshoe crab for your flu vaccine.  Windcheck Magazine.

    Beekey MA and JH Mattei.  2009.  What long term mark/recapture studies reveal about horseshoe crab population dynamics in Long Island Sound.  Proceedings of the 2008 Biennial Long Island Sound Research Conference.  Connecticut College, Groton, CT.

    Mattei JH and MA Beekey.  2009. Breeding behavior and movement patterns of Limulus polyphemus in Long Island Sound: Results from a 10 year tagging study.  In: Tanacredi JT, Botton, ML, Smith DR (eds), Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs.  Springer, New York, pp. 626-627.

    Botton ML, J Mattei, GS Robinson and MA Beekey.  2009.  Horseshoe Crabs in New Haven Harbor: An Initial Study of Reproductive Biology and Beach Quality.  In: Tanacredi JT, Botton, ML, Smith DR (eds), Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs.  Springer, New York, p. 613.

    Mattei JH and MA Beekey.  2008.  The Horseshoe Crab Conundrum; can we Harvest and Conserve?  Wrack Lines. 8(1): 2-7. 

    Invasive Species Ecology and Zebra Mussels

    McCabe DJ, MA Beekey, *A Mazloff, and JE Marsden.  2006.  Zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments:  implications for lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) restoration.  Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 16: 493-500

    Beekey MA, DJ McCabe, and JE Marsden.  2004.  Zebra mussels affect benthic predator foraging success and habitat choice on soft sediments.  Oecologia.  141: 164-170.

    Beekey MA, DJ McCabe, and JE Marsden.  2004.  Zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments facilitates invertebrate communities.  Freshwater Biology.  49:535-545. 

    Life History Evolution and Fingernail Clams

    Beekey MA and RH Karlson.  2004.  Apparent sibling rivalry in the freshwater clam Sphaerium striatinum.  Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.  57:17-22.

    Beekey MA and DJ Hornbach.  2004.  The effect of size-limited brood capacity on reproductive output in a freshwater bivalve.  American Midland Naturalist.  151:274-285.

    Beekey MA and RH Karlson.  2003.  The effect of food availability on zygote production and brood size in a freshwater bivalve.  Canadian Journal of Zoology.  81: 1168-1173.

    Beekey MA, RH Karlson, and *AR Greenberg.  2000.  Parental care in Sphaerium striatinum (Lamarck):  Evidence for retention of competent offspring.  Canadian Journal of Zoology.  78: 1697-1701. 

    Presentations

    2012 – Beekey, MA.  Project Limulus – Using Citizen Science to collect population data.  Teaching Real World Biology Conference.  Connecticut Association of Biology Teachers.  Lincoln College of New England, Southington, CT.

    2012 - Beekey, MA, KA Bartholomew, J Kasinak and JH Mattei.  Conservation plans for horseshoe crabs in Long Island Sound combining both population genetic and mark/recapture data.  Benthic Ecology Meeting.  Norfolk, VA.

    2011 – Beekey, MA, KA Bartholomew, J Kasinak and JH Mattei.  Conservation Plans for Horseshoe Crabs in Long Island Sound Combining Both Population Genetic and Mark/Recapture Data.  International Workshop on the Science and Conservation of Asian Horseshoe Crabs.  Hong Kong, China.

    2011 – Mattei, JH and MA Beekey.  Project Limulus: A Model for Horseshoe Crab Conservation through Synergistic Activities between Citizens and Researchers.  International Workshop on the Science and Conservation of Asian Horseshoe Crabs.  Hong Kong, China

    2011 - JH Mattei, MA Beekey, B Pierce, K Bartholomew.  Population dynamics of horseshoe crabs and their ecological links to other species in Long Island Sound.  Connecticut Sea Grant 2011 Researcher Forum, Groton, CT.

    2010 – Beekey MA, C Ryan and JH Mattei.  Movement patterns of Limulus polyphemus, the Atlantic horseshoe crab, and implications for management strategies.  New England Estuaries Research Society Annual Meeting.  Provincetown, MA.

    2010 - Bartholomew KA, JM Kasinak, MA Beekey, and JH Mattei.  Movement patterns and population genetics of the American horseshoe crab in relation to Long Island Sound Conservation Strategies.  New England Estuaries Research Society Annual Meeting.  Provincetown, MA.

    2010 - Bartholomew KA, JM Kasinak, MA Beekey, and JH Mattei.  Movement patterns and population genetics of the American horseshoe crab in relation to Long Island Sound Conservation Strategies.  2010 Biennial Long Island Sound Research Conference.  Stamford, CT.

    2009 – Beekey MA and JH Mattei.  “What long term mark/recapture studies reveal about horseshoe crab population dynamics in Long Island Sound.”  Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting.  Boston, MA. 

    2008 – Bartholomew, KA and MA Beekey.  “Incorporating spatial data into the classroom and research: Pictures are worth more than a thousand words.”  Teaching with Technology Seminar Series.  Office of Instructional Technology.  Sacred Heart University.

    2008 – Beekey, MA and JH Mattei.  “What long term mark/recapture studies reveal about horseshoe crab population dynamics in Long Island Sound.”  Biennial Long Island Sound Research Conference.  Connecticut College, Groton, CT.

    2008 – Beekey, MA and JH Mattei.  “What long term mark/recapture studies reveal about horseshoe crab population dynamics in Long Island Sound.”  New England Estuary Research Society.  Block Island, RI. 

    2008 – Beekey MA, JH Mattei, K Erazmus, J Gazerro, K Hjort, and M Laudicina.  “Sex On The Beach:  Limulus Love ‘Em And Leave ‘Em Dispersal Patterns In Long Island Sound” Benthic Ecology Meeting, Providence, RI.

    2008 – Mattei JH, MA Beekey, A Rudman, and G Garcia.  “Sex On The Beach:  Limulus Mating Patterns In Long Island Sound” Benthic Ecology Meeting, Providence, RI

    2008 – Mattei JH and MA Beekey.  “Project Limulus: Lessons Learned from the Development and Execution of a Community-Based Research Project”  The Future We Create: Science Education for a Scientifically Literate Future Third Annual SENCER New England Symposium, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT.

    2007 – Beekey MA and JH Mattei.  Movement patterns and site fidelity of horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) in Long Island Sound.  Benthic Ecology Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

    2007 – Mattei JH and MA Beekey.  Breeding Behavior and Movement Patterns of Limulus polyphemus in Long Island Sound: Results From a 10 year Tagging Study.  International Symposium on the Science and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs.  Dowling College, Oakdale, Long Island, NY.

    2007 – Botton ML, JH Mattei, GS Robinson, and MA Beekey.  Horseshoe Crabs in New Haven Harbor: An Initial Study of Reproductive Biology and Beach Quality.  International Symposium on the Science and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs.  Dowling College, Oakdale, Long Island, NY.

    2007 – Beekey, MA.  “Improving Student Performance (and your sanity) Using Software and Web-based Content” Innovative Teaching Consortium.  Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT.

    2007 – Beekey, MA and JH Mattei.  Movement patterns and site fidelity of horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) in Long Island Sound.  Benthic Ecology Meeting.  Atlanta, Georgia.

    2006 – Beekey, MA.  Size Versus Number Of Offspring Trade-Offs In Sphaerium striatinum, A Small Freshwater Clam: Size Limited Brood Capacity And Offspring Survivorship.  Evolution Society Meeting.  Stony Brook University.  Stony Brook, Long Island, NY.

    2004 – Beekey, MA, DJ McCabe, and JE Marsden.  Impact of zebra mussels on juvenile sturgeon foraging and habitat choice.  13th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species.  Cork, Ireland.

    2003 – Beekey, MA, DJ McCabe, and JE Marsden. The effect of zebra mussels on benthic invertebrate communities in soft sediments.  12th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species.  Windsor, Canada.

    2003 – DJ McCabe, MA Beekey, and JE Marsden.  Impacts of zebra mussels on foraging success of soft sediment benthic predators vary depending on prey position in the habitat and foraging mode of the predators.  12th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species.  Windsor, Canada.

    2002 - Beekey, MA, DJ McCabe, and JE Marsden.  The impact of zebra mussel colonization of soft sediments on infaunal invertebrate communities.  North American Benthological Society.  Pittsburgh, PA.

     

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