Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Environmental Studies Program


Loren E. McClenachan

Second Advisor

F. Russell Cole

Third Advisor

Benjamin P. Neal


Epizootic shell disease (ESD) of the American lobster (Homarus americanus) is a bacterial disease that erodes the shell of the lobster and has been common south of Cape Cod since 2000. As ocean temperatures have increased, epizootic shell disease has moved northward. Disease outbreaks have potential cataclysmic implications for the state of Maine due to coastal communities’ income dependence on a lobster. The goal of this thesis was to access the state of epizootic shell disease in Maine, as well as identify temporal and spatial trends of disease incidence. Additionally, links between water temperature and disease incidence in the Gulf of Maine were investigated. ESD incidence was investigated using data provided by the Maine Department of Marine Resources (DMR) Lobster Sea Sampling Program. While overall levels in Maine state waters are low (


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global warming, Gulf of Maine

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