Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences


Environmental Science

Major Advisor

Dr. Roberta Challener

Second Advisor

Dr. Kate Bulinski

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Wilt


Most sea urchin species have critical ecological roles in their ecosystems, such as keystone grazers. There is an increasing need to understand the impacts of rising temperatures on species that are vital to the health of their environments. Studies have shown that increasing temperatures may significantly negatively affect several important biological processes including reproduction, development, and excretion in many species including sea urchins. However, very little is known about the sea urchin species Arbacia punctulata. In this study, individuals were exposed to 21˚C (control, n = 12) and 27˚C (experimental, n = 12) for seven days, and survivorship was assessed. On average the control treatment survived 5.5 days while the experimental treatment survived 1.4 days. Results suggest that A. punctulata exposed to increased temperatures over an extended period will be significantly compromised.