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Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory

Shellfish Aquaculture


The research in Dr. Liu's lab focuses on the genetics and breeding and aquaculture techniques, in aim to improve the aquaculture crop and enhance the production yield. Through the research projects, education opportunities including hands-on experience in aquaculture breeding will be provided to graduate and undergraduate students particularly for the underrepresented students to support aquaculture workforce development.


  • Research Interests:
    • Development of aquaculture crop lines for economic traits through conventional and genomic selectively-breeding
    • Development of triploid bivalves to speed up their growth
    • Identification of key genes and genetic markers associated with desirable traits
    • Development of alternative aquaculture species
  • Funded Research Projects:
    • Development of Troploids to Advance the Soft-shell Clam Aquaculture in the Northeastern coasts. Funded by: UDSA NRAC
    • Development of genetic breeding in soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) to advance potential new aquaculture species in Maryland. Funded by: Maryland Sea Grant 2024-2026
    • Polyculture of soft-shell clams. Funded by: MSU I-GAP
    • Diversification of Maryland Shellfish Aquaculture: Development and Assessment of a Subtital Grow-out Method for Culture of Soft-shell Clams(Mya arenaria). Funded by: Maryland Sea Grant 2022-2024
    • From sequence to consequence: genomic selection to expand and improve selective breeding for the eastern oyster. Funded by: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Regional Shellfish Aquaculture Research Consortia, Subaward with Rutgers University
    • Mark Street Ventures/PEARL Algae Project. Funded by: MIPS
    • Development of triplod and tetraploid eastern oysters for Maryland aquaculture. Funded by: Maryland Sea Grant 2020-2022
    • Development of Chesapeake PEARL Oysters. MSU I-GAP prototype
    • Comparing the performance of diploid and triploid eastern oysters in the Northeast. Funded by: USDA NRAC, subaward with Stony Brook University


Ming Liu

Shellfish Researcher

Brittany Wolf-Bryant

Shellfish Hatchery Program Administrator

Leigh Wolfe-Bryant

Senior Research Assistant

Jon Farrington

Facility Manager

Aquaculture Engineer

Shivish Bhandari

PhD Student

Shelby Dittman

Undergraduate Student