Fulweiler's work featured in a Boston University publication
Come in closer. Turn your eyes from the sweeping beauty of the New England tidal flat, from its rushing grasses, wading heron, and stooping clammers. We’re looking deep into the muddy silt for a sticky mucus of microscopic particles that researchers believe is binding this precariously beautiful vista together.
The minute workings of nature on the tidal flat of the Rowley River, near upscale Newburyport on the northern Massachusetts coast, could hold the key to understanding how humans impact coastal environments—and the climate in general. In a two-year National Science Foundation-funded project, Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler, assistant professor of earth sciences and biology, is studying tiny algae—and the mucus they generate—on which so many tidal flats depend.