Aquatic Sciences Laboratory

The Aquatic Sciences Laboratory Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay
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Principal Investigator: Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay

**If you have any questions or inquiries please send them HERE


Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay’s research and outreach education programs focus on oyster habitat restoration and revitalization in critical estuaries in Delaware. Research efforts identify environmental stresses and relationships between water quality and naturally occurring bacteria that could pose harm to both aquatic species and humans.

Dr. Ozbay’s research efforts are three fold:

  • Assess habitat value of a small scale oyster restoration effort in Delaware Inland Bays through monitoring biodiversity, water quality, and natural oyster recruitment.
  • Impacts of Phragmites australis on Fish Habitat and Associated Fauna: Blue crab, Callinectes sapidus and Resident Fish Population in Delaware Blackbird Creek.
  • Understand microbial load and diversity associated with Spartina alterniflora and Phragmites australisdominated marshes in Delaware Blackbird Creek. Our study mainly concentrates on the difference in Proteobacteria which are considered to be the predominant microbial communities in marsh ecosystems.

Oyster aquaculture is an effective tool to enhance habitat and species diversity, and it may help to reestablish this keystone species to the environment in Delaware Inland Bays. Commercial aquaculture has the potential to dramatically increase the abundance of shellfish. Cultured oysters may also serve as broodstock contributing to enhance and promote naturally occurring populations in the bays. Although oyster gardening has become very popular, commercial use of these floating gears are and will be under close scrutiny and raises some concerns by local residents. Understanding the potential impacts of various aquaculture methods on the biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by oysters and aquaculture structures will be essential.

Lab Members:


Dr. Lathadevi K. Chintapenta

Ms. Amanda Abbott

Graduate Students:

Lanie Fucco

Scott Borsum

Undergraduate Students:

Publications (Newest – Oldest)

Cannon, A., Lalor, P., Sriharan, S., Fan, C.L. and Ozbay, G. 2014. A Case Study on Climate Change Response and Adaptation: Fictional Aysese Islands in the South Pacific. American Journal of Climate Change 3:455-473.

Hickey ME and Ozbay G. 2014. Food waste in the United States: A contributing factor toward environmental instability. Journal of Frontiers in Environmental Science. Perspective Article pp. 1-6. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2014.00051.

Ozbay G, Ferguson AJ, Khatiwada R, and Chintapenta LK. 2014. The Effect of a Small Ruminant Farm Operation and Sustainable Farm Practices: Soil Quality and Run-off at the University Hickory Hill Farm, Delaware. Professional Agricultural Workers Journal 2(1): 1-11.

Ozbay, G. and Phalen, L. 2015. Soil and Water Management Lab Centered Teaching Approach: Using Cost Effective and Student Friendly Hands-on Activities. Proceedings of EDULEARN 2015, 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, July 6-8, 2015, Barcelona, Spain, 10p

Ozbay, G, Roeske K, Chintapenta LK, Kalavacharla V, Stone M and Phalen, L. 2014. Land Use Impacts: The Effects of Non-Native Grasses on Marsh and Aquatic Ecosystems. Journal of Ecosystem and Ecography 4(2):151. ISSN: 2157-7625.

Reckenbeil, B and Ozbay, G. 2014. An investigation of utilizing ripraps as substrate for oyster stocking within Delaware’s Coastal Bays. Journal of Ecosystem and Ecography 4(1): 1-6. ISSN: 2157-7625.

Dr. Gulnihal Ozbay

Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901

Phone: 302-857-6476

Fax: 302-857-6402


College of Agriculture, Science, and Technology