Ecology and Evolution Masters student Sarah Borsetti recently participated in a
international workshop focusing on “Whelk (Buccinum undatum) Ageing: Instruction and Practice of Ageing Whelks by Statoliths”, organized by Department of Fisheries and
Oceans, St. John’s, NL, Canada. This workshop was instructed by Professor Christopher
Richardson and Dr. Philip Hollyman of Bangor University, both leading experts in
innovative whelk aging techniques. This workshop provided fisheries scientists and
students with hands-on learning experience ageing whelk from their statoliths. These
statoliths are microscopic calcium carbonate structures that have annual growth rings.
This new ageing technique can be used as reliable tool for fisheries scientists to assess
population age structure and can be incorporated into stock assessments of this species to allow better management and sustainability of whelk fisheries.
This workshop featured a series of talks and discussions about whelk population status
around the world and a comparison of different ageing techniques and validations. Sarah presented her masters work on whelk in the Mid-Atlantic waters of the United States.
We seek to further the social, cultural, academic and research interests of the students in the graduate program in Ecology and Evolution and act as an link between the graduate students and the faculty.