April 15, 2015 – Dr. Brian Mangan, director of the Environmental Program and professor of environmental science and biology at King’s College, has received $10,000 from the Degenstein Foundation towards his research on the Susquehanna River. Half of the grant will be used to match the $63,800 funding from PA Sea Grant that Mangan received to continue his research on the ecological impacts of the invasive rusty crayfish, and the remainder will be used to continue to track mercury contamination of this ecosystem.
Working with colleagues from Boston University, Bucknell University, and Susquehanna University, Dr. Mangan is working to develop a reliable method for measuring crayfish density in large streams and rivers. The team will investigate the diet of crayfish in the river and, in particular, that of the invasive rusty crayfish.
In 2008 and 2013, Mangan and his King’s students documented the crayfish species and their relative abundances along 400 km of the river from the New York border to just north of Harrisburg. Within that same time period, numbers of smallmouth bass in middle sections of the river began to decline. Mangan will investigate if the rusty crayfish are contributing to the bass decline.