Carolyn Friedman

  • Professor, SAFS

Research areas

My laboratory focuses on the examination of infectious and non-infectious diseases of wild and cultured marine invertebrates. I am interested in the impacts of disease on animal health at the individual and population levels. At the individual level, I examine host responses (gross to gene expression level) to infectious (pathogens) and non-infectious (climate change: ocean warming and ocean acidification) stressors. At the population level, I study the ecology of infectious diseases via field and wet laboratory experiments in which the roles of variations in host (e.g., species or family), environment (e.g., temperature, salinity, pH), and pathogen are defined.

In addition, my lab develops, validates and applies diagnostic tools (e.g., cPCR, qPCR, histology, electron microscopy) to study pathogen transmission dynamics and other aspects of host-parasite relationships. We also develop treatments for bacterial pathogens to help control disease outbreaks in farmed populations. In association with this focus area, my laboratory serves as the OIE Reference Laboratory for infection with “Candidatus Xenohaliotis californiensis.”

I am interested in transgenerational effects of ocean acidification on farmed and wild marine invertebrate species. We have focused primarily on farmed molluscs (such as Pacific and Olympia oysters, bay mussels and pinto abalone) in these studies. We partner with the shellfish aquaculture industry to conduct solution-based research to help this industry succeed in the face of climate change.

Another focus of our laboratory is the conservation of marine invertebrates, particularly abalone. We work with colleagues at universities and state and federal resource agencies to characterize trends in populations, recruitment, and larval survival/behavior.

Major projects in the laboratory include:

  • Development of tools to support sustainable production of bivalve aquaculture in the face of an emerging virus

  • Effects of ocean acidification on Puget Sound califiers: transgenerational effects

  • Withering syndrome of abalone: Influence of climate change and phylogeny on susceptibility to infection and disease development

  • Examination of the role of a novel phage on the host-parasite dynamics of the abalone-withering syndrome rickettsia system

  • Restoration of declining abalones in California and Washington State


Selected publications

  • 2016. Miller, JJ, Maher, M, Bohaboy, E, Friedman, CS, McElhany, P. Exposure to low pH reduces survival and delays development in early life stages of Dungeness crab (Cancer magister). Mar Biol 163:1-18.

  • 2016. Burge, CA, Closek, CJ, Friedman, CS, Groner, ML, Jenkins, CM, Shore-Maggio, A, Welsh, JE. The use of filter-feeders to manage disease in a changing world. Integr Comparative Biol. 1-15.    DOI:10.1093/icb/icw048

  • 2015. Lafferty, KD, Harvell, CD, Conrad, JM, Friedman, CS, Kent, ML, Kuris, AM, Powell, EN, Rondeau, D, Saksida, SM. Infectious diseases affect marine fisheries and aquaculture economics.  Ann Rev Mar Sci. Online Sept 12, 2014. doi/10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015646

  • Friedman, CS, Wight, N, Crosson, LM, VanBlaricom, GR, Lafferty, KD. Reduced disease in black abalone following mass mortality: phage therapy and natural selection. Front. Microbiol. Aquat. Microbiol. 5:78 (online). doi:10.3389/fmicb.2014.00078#sthash.eNDw19t5.dpuf

  • 2014. Burge, CA, Eakin, CM, Friedman, CS, Froelich, B, Hershberger, PK, Hofmann, EE, Petes, LE, Prager, KC, Weil, E, Willis, BL, Ford, SE, Harvell, CD. Climate change influences on marine infectious diseases: implications for management and society. Annu. Rev. Marine. Sci. 6:249-277. doi:10.1146/annurev-marine-010213-135029.

  • 2013. Timmins-Schiffman, E, O’Donnell, MJ, Friedman, CS, Roberts, SB. Elevated pCO(2) causes developmental delay in early larval Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas. Mar Biol 160(8):1973-1982. doi:10.1007/s00227-012-2055-x