Beal's students discover new invasive crab species in Maine
A group of students from the University of Maine-Machias made a bittersweet discovery this week. They found an Asian shore crab on Great Wass Island in Beals, the northernmost point where the crab has been sighted. The excitement of their discovery was tinged with disappointment, however, because the Asian shore crab is an invasive species that threatens Maine’s coastal ecosystem.
The four students — Katie Barvenik, Bennett Ellis, Jacob Snyder and Wesley Turner — were participating in a field study as part of their marine ecology class with professor Brian Beal. They were taking samples — finding and counting marine life — on the rocky shore adjacent to the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education, of which Beal is research director.