Recent oyster settler

Spatial and temporal variation in settlement of the Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida, in Newport Bay, CA.

My research focuses on the only native oyster to the west coast of the U.S., Ostrea lurida.  This oyster was abundant in the 1900s, but due to over-harvesting and pollution, oyster populations dropped dramatically. Currently, there are many groups in Washington, Oregon, and northern California who are researching how to restore this oyster to the west coast. However, not very much is known about settlement factors. This has become an interest because controlling settlement dynamics can lead to natural settlement that can aid in restoration of this species.

I have been handed down a 5-year project dealing with this issue. For almost one year, I have been monitoring settlement at six sites in Newport Bay, California. At each site are four ceramic tiles attached to PVC tees upon which the oysters can settle. The ambient temperature is constantly monitored by attaching small Tidbit™ loggers to my settlement tees.

I have been a part of this lab for almost a year. This has been a fantastic experience, and I encourage other undergraduates to explore areas of studies of their own interest. I also, plan to start my own project within the next year.

These studies are all ongoing.


Sara Pfremmer in Newport Bay, CA