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Over the decades, the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory has developed a national and international reputation for the quality of its research enterprise.
By supplementing its three primary research areas - ecosystem studies and restoration science, fisheries science, and environmental chemistry and toxicology – CBL’s multi-disciplinary approach to scientific discovery and environmental problem solving sets its apart from its peers.
CBL scientists have built their research programs from a foundation of sound ecosystem science. While the laboratory’s traditional research programs strive to expand our understanding through scientific discovery, several newly-established programs focus on ecological restoration.
Fisheries science in Maryland began in the 1920s with pioneering oyster research by CBL Founder Professor R. Truitt. Since then, CBL fishery scientists have contributed significantly to knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay's fished species and of the habitats and ecosystems supporting them. Current endeavors continue to emphasize the Chesapeake Bay, which, as one of the world's most productive estuaries, also serves as a model for coastal and estuarine fisheries and ecosystems throughout the world.
Environmental chemistry at CBL is diverse and includes research in biogeochemical processes in aquatic systems and sediments, tracking of climate change relevant gases, quantifying persistant organic pollutants, emerging contaminants of concern, disinfection by-products and heavy metals.
Understanding the fate of pollutants and their effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems is a major goal of environmental toxicology. CBL’s environmental toxicology program focuses on issues that relate to the chemical characteristics and fate of contaminants.