The key to their success, says principal investigator and Associate Professor of Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry George Waldbusser, is the way they spawn. Pacific oyster parents unceremoniously eject their sperm and eggs into water column, and the resulting zygotes rush to form shells, expending tremendous energy in the process. Olympia mothers, by contrast, practice internal brooding, keeping their young inside of their bodies where they can take their sweet time growing their shells. While Pacifics form their shells in about six hours, Olympia babies often take several days. Waldbusser says that the newly spawned Pacifics, spent of energy, are particularly vulnerable to acidified water. The relatively laid back infancy of Olympias leaves them with enough energy to survive the toxic water. Waldbusser likens it to the slow food movement, calling it the "slow shell approach."