Date of Award

Fall 12-3-2021

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Damian Brady

Second Committee Member

Yong Chen

Third Committee Member

Katherine Mills

Additional Committee Members

Robert Steneck

Richard Wahle


The Gulf of Maine has been fundamentally altered by anthropogenic forcings for decades and offers an ideal study system to monitor response to change. Through complex interactions between ocean warming, altered demographic bottlenecks, and reduced top-down controls, the American lobster (Homarus americanus Milne Edwards) capitalized on favorable conditions and proliferated within the Gulf of Maine. These changes catalyzed the expansion of the lobster fishery, elevated its status as North America’s most valuable marine resource, and shifted coastal communities towards a virtual lobster monoculture. The same processes that facilitated lobster to capitalize on favorable conditions may come with unintended consequences and have implications for sustainability in a continually changing ocean environment. As such, evaluating the anthropogenic impacts by the American lobster fishery and to lobster demographic processes is critical for effective fisheries management. This dissertation research developed, and implemented, several modeling frameworks to assess how anthropogenic impacts have fundamentally altered the American lobster fishery, how ocean change affects the demographic processes of larval and postlarval lobster, and the implications of these relationships to the sustainability of this species under climate change.