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Glenn Lopez

Professor Emeritus



- Stony Brook University

Research Topics:

Marine benthic ecology, animal-sediment interactions.


  • Bio/Research


    My research focuses on ecological and oceanographic processes in the benthos. I am especially interested in the nutrition of deposit feeding invertebrates. These detritivores live by feeding on decomposing phytodetritus that sinks to the seabed. My lab has investigated strategies that animals use this nutritionally diverse and dilute food source, integrating physiological, geochemical and ecological approaches in these studies. I also have a longstanding interest in the limits of detritivory in the benthos, particular with respect to body size and feeding depth.

    In current research I am collaborating with several colleagues to study ecological and physical processes in Great South Bay that will provide the foundation for ecosystem-based management of the system. I am examining the role of benthic suspension feeders such as tunicates and tube worms in this shallow ecosystem; they are currently the dominant benthic suspension feeders since the dramatic decline of hard clams.

    Recent research focused on the role of ice algae and phytoplankton in fueling the benthos of arctic shelves.

    Other recent research includes development of in vivo methods to characterize the chemical environment of the digestive tracts of small invertebrates. We have developed promising methods for measuring pH and protease activity. Other efforts have examined the role of heat stress on lobster mortality events in Long Island Sound, determined the physiological and trophic consequences due to acclimation and adaptation to cadmium exposure, and the physical and biological controls of organic matter flux in an intertidal sand flat.

  • Publications


    Sun, M.-Y., M.L. Carroll, W.G. Ambrose, Jr., L.M. Clough, L. Zou, and G.R. Lopez. 2007. Rapid consumption of phytoplankton and ice algae by Arctic soft-sediment benthic communities: Evidence using natural and 13C-labeled food materials. J. Mar. Res. 65: 561-588.

    McMahon, K.W., W.G. Ambrose Jr., B.J. Johnson, M.-Y. Sun, G.R. Lopez, L.M. Clough, and M.L. Carroll. 2006. Benthic community response to ice algae and phytoplankton in Ny Alesund, Svalbard. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 310: 1-14.

    Campbell, P.G.C., S.J. Clearwater, P.B. Brown, N.S. Fisher, C. Hogstrand, G.R. Lopez, L. M. Mayer, and J.S. Meyer. 2005. Gut physiology, chemistry and nutrition. In: S. Luoma (ed.), The Role of Dietary Exposures in the Evaluation of Risk of Metals to Aquatic Organisms. SETAC Publication. Pp. 13-57.

    Lopez, G.R. 2005. Diversity of gut structure and function in aquatic invertebrates with respect to metal uptake. In: S. Luoma (ed.), The Role of Dietary Exposures in the Evaluation of Risk of Metals to Aquatic Organisms. SETAC Publication. Pp 227-231.

    Greenfield, D.I., D.J. Lonsdale, R.M. Cerrato, and G.R. Lopez. 2004. Effects of background concentrations of Aureococcus anophagefferens (brown tide) on growth and feeding in the bivalve Mercenaria mercenaria. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 274: 171-181.

    D’Andrea, Anthony F., Glenn. R. Lopez, and Robert C. Aller. 2004. Rapid physical and biological particle mixing of an intertidal sandflat. J. Mar. Res. 62: 67-92.

    D’Andrea, Anthony F., Robert C. Aller, and Glenn R. Lopez. 2002. Organic matter flux and reactivity on a South Carolina sandflat: The impacts of porewater advection and macrobiological structures. Limnol. Oceanogr. 47: 1056-1070.

    Wallace, W.G., T.X. Brouwer-Hoexum, M.X. Brouwer and G.R. Lopez. 2000. Alterations in prey capture and induction of Cd-binding metallothioneins in grass shrimp fed Cd-contaminated prey. Environmental Toxicology and Chem. 9: 962-971.

    Ahrens, M.J., J. Hertz, E.M. Lamoureux, G.R. Lopez, A.E. McElroy, and B.J. Brownawell. 2001. The role of digestive surfactants in determining bioavailability of sediment-bound hydrophobic organic contaminants to two deposit-feeding polychaetes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 212: 145-157.

    Ahrens, M. J., J. Hertz, E. M. Lamoureux, G.R. Lopez, A. E. McElroy, and B.J. Brownawell. 2001. The effect of body size on digestive chemistry and absorption efficiencies of food and sediment-bound organic contaminants. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 263: 185-209.

    Ahrens, M.J., and G.R. Lopez. 2001. In vivo characterization of the gut chemistry of small deposit-feeding polychaetes. In: J.Y. Aller, S.A. Woodin, and R.C. Aller (editors). Organism-Sediment Interactions. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC 29208 USA, pages 349-368.

    Wallace, W.G., G.R. Lopez, and J.S. Levinton. 1998. Cadmium resistance in an oligochaete and its effect on cadmium trophic transfer to an omnivorous shrimp. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 172: 225-237.

    Wallace, W.G. and G.R. Lopez. 1997. Bioavailability of biologically sequestered cadmium and the implications of metal detoxification. Marine Ecology Progress Series 147: 149-157.

    Clough, L.M. and G.R. Lopez. 1993. Potential carbon sources for the head-down deposit-feeding polychaete Heteromastus filiformis. J. Mar. Res. 51: 596-616.

    Forbes, T.L. and G.R. Lopez. 1990. The effects of food concentration, body size, and environmental oxygen tension on the growth of the deposit-feeding polychaete, Capitella species 1. Limnol. Oceanogr. 35: 1535-1544.

    Lopez, G.R. and R. Elmgren. 1989. Feeding depths and organic absorption for the deposit-feeding benthic amphipods Pontoporeia affinis and Pontoporeia femorata. Limnol. Oceanogr. 34: 982-991.

    Lopez, G.R., G. Taghon and J. Levinton (Eds.). 1989. Ecology of Marine Deposit Feeders. Springer-Verlag. 322 pp.

    Lopez, G.R. 1988. Comparative ecology of the macrofauna of freshwater and marine muds. Limnol. Oceanogr. 33: 946-962.

    Lopez, G.R. 1988. Comparative ecology of the macrofauna of freshwater and marine muds. Limnol. Oceanogr. 33: 946-962.

    Lopez, G.R. and J.S. Levinton. 1987. Ecology of deposit-feeding animals in marine sediments. Quart. Rev. Biol. 62: 235-260.

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