Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Biology

Committee Chair

John Carroll

Committee Member 1

Daniel Gleason

Committee Member 2

Johanne Lewis


The Atlantic slipper limpet, Crepidula fornicata, is a sequential hermaphrodite whose size at sex-change is plastic with respect to social and population cues. As an organism allocates energy between growth, reproduction and maintenance, an increased cost of one process may affect another. In this paper, I evaluate whether the presence of an epibiotic sponge (Cliona celata) affects the growth, condition and sex-change of C. fornicata individuals. Population surveys demonstrate a variable effect of Cliona presence on C. fornicata condition. The results of a twelve-week in situ experiment demonstrated a decrease in growth when C. celata was present. Regarding the timing of sex-change, the results of the study were inconclusive. The results show that C. celata negatively affects C. fornicata growth and condition in some contexts, though more precise studies are required to determine whether sex-change is also affected.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material