Michael A. Rice


Professor Rice was first appointed to the faculty of the University of Rhode Island in October 1987. His academic research interests are in the area of environmental physiology and ecology of bivalve molluscs, and he has further research interests in the field of aquaculture. He has studied the ability of bivalve molluscs to absorb amino acids directly from seawater as a nutrition source, a process that serves an important role in mediating the cycling of nitrogen and other nutrients within marine ecosystems. He has also studied the effects of shellfishing on the population ecology of bivalves. His research has led to refinements to the practice of managing shellfishery resources in coastal waters, estuaries and marine protected areas. Professor Rice has made contributions the science of shellfishery management and to the growth of the shellfish aquaculture industry in Rhode Island, and internationally, including the Philippines, Tanzania, Georgia, Indonesia and The Gambia. He has led a study of invasive Australian crayfish in the Zambezi River watershed of Zambia. Rice has been the recipient of three Fulbright Scholarship awards: Republic of the Philippines 1996–97; Indonesia 1997; and Republic of the Philippines 2006.

At the University of Rhode Island he served as Chairman of the Department of Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science from 2000 to 2004, and Chairman/President of the URI Faculty Senate from 2005 to 2007, and again from 2022 to 2023.


Professor Rice works in the area of environmental physiology of marine invertebrates, focusing on factors that affect the growth and reproduction of economically important bivalve mollusks. Key areas of study include molluscan particle filtration rates, organic seston fluxes in shellfish habitat, and the optimization of aquaculture systems based on these factors. He also studies the environmental impacts of aquaculture systems and factors influencing natural productivity of shellfish beds, and he engages in extension programming in cooperation with aquaculture and shellfishing industry practitioners.


  • Ph.D., Comparative Physiology, University of California, Irvine, 1987
  • M.S., Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine, 1981
  • B.S., Biology, University of San Francisco, 1977

Selected Publications

Rice, M.A. (2021). Intensive fishing effort and market controls as management tools for invasive aquatic species: A review. Asian Fisheries Science 34(4):383-392.

Taskov, D.A., Murray, F.J., Telfer, T., Bengtson, D.A., Rice, M.A., Kamal, M.M., Desyana, C., Little, D.C. (2021). Managing aquaculture in multi-use freshwater bodies: the case of Jatiluhur reservoir. Environmental Research Letters 16:044022.

Rice, M.A. (2020). Ecosystem services and United Nations sustainable development goals: Examining estuarine aquaculture the Philippines. Chapter 2. pp. 16-26. In: A. Mitra, M.M. Calma, S.P. Chakrabarty, S. Zeman and P. Pramanick (eds.). Natural Resources and their Ecosystem Services: Proceeding on “Ecosystem Services and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” Celebrating the World Environment Day, 5th June 2020. University of Calcutta/HSRA Publications, Bangalore.

Rice, M.A., P.D. Rawson, A.D. Salinas, and W.R. Rosario. (2016). Identification and salinity tolerance of the western hemisphere mussel Mytella charruana (d’Orbigny 1842) in the Philippines. Journal of Shellfish Research 35(4):865-873.

Iba, W., M.A. Rice, and G.H. Wikfors. (2014). Microalgae in Eastern Pacific White Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone 1931) hatcheries: A Review on Roles and Culture Environments. Asian Fisheries Science 27:212-233.

Marroquin-Mora, D.C. and M.A. Rice. (2008). Gonadal cycle of northern quahogs, Mercenaria mercenaria (Linne, 1758), from fished and non-fished subpopulations in Narragansett Bay. Journal of Shellfish Research 27:643-652.

Pietros, J.M. and M.A. Rice. (2003). The impacts of aquacultured oysters, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791) on water quality and sedimentation: results of a mesocosm study. Aquaculture 220:407-422.

Rheault, R.B. and M.A. Rice. (1996). Food-limited growth and condition index in the oyster Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin 1791) and the bay scallop Argopecten irradians irradians (Lamarck 1819). Journal of Shellfish Research 15:271-283.

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