Nov 29, 2021  
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog 
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marine Biology

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School of Marine Sciences

The University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences (SMS) is one of the nation’s largest marine research and education programs. SMS offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees; its faculty and students conduct basic and applied research on a wide variety of topics, and perform public service related to scientific policy for marine resource and coastal zone management. More than 50 faculty are affiliated with SMS, including full-time, part-time, and cooperating appointments. By its very nature, SMS is an interdisciplinary unit. Areas of expertise and research include physical, biological and chemical oceanography; aquaculture; marine biology; marine geology; marine resource development and policy; seafloor ecology; physiology and biochemistry; fish biology; fish pathology; fisheries science; seaweed biology; maritime studies; population genetics; molecular biology and toxicology; marine optics and acoustics and ocean engineering.

SMS faculty provide leadership in research programs that encompass all the world’s oceans, with emphasis on the Gulf of Maine. Faculty are headquartered at both the Orono campus of UM and its coastal marine laboratory, the Ira C. Darling Marine Center (see Research Resources), and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Further information on SMS is on the web at:  Further information on the Darling Marine Center is on the web at:

The School of Marine Sciences offers the following graduate degrees:

  • M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Oceanography;
  • M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Biology;
  • M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Marine Bio-Resources (administered jointly with Food Science and Human Nutrition);
  • M.S. degree in Marine Policy; and
  • Dual M.S. degree in Marine Policy and either Oceanography or Marine Biology.

The School of Marine Sciences offers core and advanced courses in all degree areas. Most specialized courses of study in the subdisciplines of marine science are also provided by various associated departments.  Financial support for graduate students is primarily in the form of research assistantships. Some teaching assistantships are available.

Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology

The Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Biology are designed to provide students with a broad knowledge base in marine biology in areas including, but not restricted to taxonomy/systematics, comparative morphology, evolution, genetics, physiology, cell and molecular biology, development and ecology. Marine Biology is a dynamic field, and our programs are flexibly designed to accommodate new discoveries and technologies.

M.S. and Ph.D. Programs in Marine Biology are research-oriented, leading to completion of a thesis. To succeed, students will be required to learn to

  1. formulate valid scientific questions
  2. design appropriate experiments to answer those questions
  3. develop the necessary technical skills to conduct the experiments
  4. critically examine and interpret the results of the experiments.

Although some of the groundwork for this will be provided through formal course work, considerably more training will occur in less formal situations in which students work closely with one or more faculty members on focused topics. Marine Biology faculty of SMS provide expertise in an extensive range of phyletic groups of marine organisms from bacteria and viruses, through planktonic organisms, to marine algae, marine invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Their specialties encompass levels of biological organization from population biology, ecology and systematics, through physiology and biochemistry, to molecular biology.

Required/Elective Courses:

There will be a wide variety of course options that can be pursued by students in the Marine Biology program, under the direction of the student’s advisory committee. To provide continuity within the program, however, there are certain requirements for all students.

Program Requirements

To maintain maximum flexibility, the majority of courses comprising a student’s Program of Study will be determined by the student in consultation with his/her major advisor and advisory committee.

Graduate Faculty

David W. Townsend, Ph.D. (Maine, 1981), Professor. Area: Biological Oceanography of Shelf Seas. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

James Acheson, Ph.D. (Rochester, 1970), Professor. Area: Cultural Anthropology. (Marine Policy)

Emmanuel Boss, Ph.D. (Washington, 1996), Associate Professor. Area: Particle Dynamics, Optical Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Susan Brawley, Ph.D. (California, 1978), Professor. Area: Algal Physiology, Development and Ecology. (Marine Biology, Oceanography)

Ian Bricknell, Ph.D. (Lancaster, 1990) Professor. Area: Marine Aquaculture, finfish culture, parasitology, fish immunology and vaccinology and fish health. (Aquaculture)

Deidre Byrne, Ph.D. (Columbia University, 2000), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Fei Chai, Ph.D. (Duke University, 1995), Professor. Area: Ecosystem Modeling; Tropical Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Yong Chen, Ph.D. (Toronto, 1995), Professor. Area: Fisheries Population Dynamics and fisheries stock assessment and management. (Marine Biology, Marine Policy)

Laurie Connell, Ph.D. (North Carolina, 1988), Associate Research Professor. Area: Molecular Ecology. (Marine Biology)

Christopher M. Duncombe-Rae, Ph.D. (University of Cape Town, 1994), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography.

Kevin Eckelbarger, Ph.D. (Northeastern, 1974), Director and Professor, Darling Marine Center. Area: Invertebrate Biology. (Marine Biology)

William Ellis, Ph.D. (Univ. of Rhode Island, 1992), Assistant Director and Associate Professor. Area: Marine and Atmospheric Chemistry. (Oceanography)

Peter A. Jumars, Ph.D. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1974), Professor. Area: Benthic Biological Oceanography, Organism-Environment Interactions at the Level of Individuals, Deposit Feeding. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Lee Karp-Boss, Ph.D. (Washington, 1998), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Biological Oceanography. (Oceanography)

Joseph Kelley, Ph.D. (Lehigh, 1980), Professor. Area: Coastal Geology, Coastal Zone Management. (Oceanography, Marine Policy)

Linda J. Kling, Ph.D. (Maryland, 1980), Associate Professor. Area: Fish Aquaculture, Fish Nutrition and Feeding. (Aquaculture)

Irv Kornfield, Ph.D. (Stony Brook, 1974), Professor. Area: Population Biology, Ecology and Systematics. (Marine Biology, Oceanography, Aquaculture)

Sara Lindsay, Ph.D. (South Carolina, 1994), Assistant Research Professor. Area: Sensory Biology and Ecology of Marine Invertebrates, Benthic Ecology. (Marine Biology, Ocean-ography)

Lawrence M. Mayer, Ph.D. (Dartmouth, 1976), Professor. Area: Marine Biogeochemistry. (Oceanography)

James D. McCleave, Ph.D. (Montana State, 1967), Emeritus Professor. Area: Migratory and Transport Mechanisms of Fishes, Fisheries Oceanography, Eel Biology. Associate Director, School of Marine Sciences. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Henry Perkins, Ph.D. (MIT and WHOI, 1970), Research Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography.

Mary Jane Perry, Ph.D. (Scripps Institution of Oceanography/California, San Diego, 1974), Professor. Area: Phytoplankton Physiology and Ecology, Primary Productivity, Bio-optics. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Andrew J. Pershing, Ph.D. (Cornell Univ., 2001), Assistant Research Professor. Area: Ecology and Environmental Biology.

Neal R. Pettigrew, Ph.D. (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/M.I.T., 1981), Professor. Area: Near-shore, Estuarine and Continental Shelf Circulation. (Ocean-ography)

Paul Rawson
, Ph.D. (South Carolina, 1996), Associate Professor. Area: Quantitative Genetics, Evolutionary Biology. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Warren Riess, Ph.D. (New Hampshire, 1987), Associate Research Professor. Area: History; Underwater Archeology. (Marine Policy)

John Riley, Ph.D. (Cornell Univ., 1971), Professor. Area: Aquacultural Engineering.

Jeffrey A. Runge
, Ph.D. (Univ. of Washington, 1981), Research Professor. Area: Biological and Fisheries Oceanography.

Malcolm Shick
, Ph.D. (Texas, 1974), Professor. Area: Marine Invertebrate Physiology. (Marine Biology)

Bruce Sidell, Ph.D. (Illinois, 1975), Professor. Area: Biochemistry and Physiology of Fishes. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Robert S. Steneck, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins, 1982), Professor. Area: Benthic Marine Ecology, Lobsters, and Plant-Herbivore Interactions. (Oceanography, Marine Policy, and Marine Biology)

Andrew Thomas, Ph.D. (British Columbia, 1988), Associate Professor. Area: Plankton Biology, Biological/Physical Interactions, Satellite Oceanography. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Robert L. Vadas, Ph.D. (Washington, 1968), Professor. Area: Marine Ecology, Algal Ecology. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Rebecca Van Beneden, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins, 1983), Professor and Associate Director School of Marine Sciences. Area: Marine Molecular Biology and Environmental Toxicology. (Marine Biology)

Les Watling, Ph.D. (Delaware, 1974), Emeritus Professor. Area: Benthic Ecology. (Oceanography, Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Mark Wells, Ph.D. (Maine, 1989), Professor. Area: Metal-Plankton Interactions, ocean optics, and harmful algal blooms. (Oceanography)

James Wilson, Ph.D. (Wisconsin, 1971), Professor. Area: Economics and Fisheries Management. (Marine Policy, Aquaculture)

Huijie Xue, Ph.D. (Princeton University, 1991), Professor. Area: Numerical Modeling of Coastal and Oceanic Circulation. (Oceanography)

Gayle Zydlewski, Ph.D. (Univ. of Maine, 1996), Research Assistant Professor. Area: Fish Physiology, Behavior, and Population Dynamics

Cooperating Faculty

Daniel F. Belknap, Ph.D. (Delaware, 1979), Professor. Area: Marine Geology, Sedimentology. Chair, Department of Earth Sciences. (Oceanography)

Nick Brown, Ph.D. (Aquaculture Univ., Stirling, UK, 1998), Assistant Professor. Area: Aquaculture Technology

Adria Elskus, Ph.D. (Boston University, 1992), Associate Professor. Area: Molecular Environmental Toxicology.

James Gilbert, Ph.D. (Idaho, 1974), Professor. Area: Large Mammal Population Dynamics, Assessment and Modeling. (Marine Biology)

Carol Kim, Ph.D. (Cornell, 1992), Associate Professor. Area: Zebrafish as a Model for Disease and Immune Function. (Marine Biology)

Michael Kinnison, Ph.D. (University of Washington, 1999), Associate Professor. Area: Ecology and Environmental (Marine Biology)

Greg Mayer, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 2001), Assistant Professor. Area: Molecular Toxicology. (Marine Biology)

Paul Mayewski, Ph.D. (Ohio University, 1973), Professor. Area: Change in Climate and Chemistry of the Atmosphere. (Oceanography)

Laurie Osher, Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley, 1997), Assistant Professor. Area: Biogeochemistry (Marine Biology)

Bryan Pearce, Ph.D. (Univ. of Florida, 1972), Professor. Area: Physical Oceanography, Numerical Modeling (Oceanography)

Michael Peterson, Ph.D. (Northwestern Univ., 1994), Professor. Area: Ultrasound, Instrumentation and Biomimetic Design. (Oceanography)

Mary Rumpho, Ph.D. (Washington State, 1982), Professor. Area: Mollusc/Algal Chloroplast Symbioses. (Marine Biology)

John Singer, Ph.D. (Georgia, 1983), Professor. Area: Marine Microbiology. Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology. (Aquaculture, Marine Biology)

Seth Tyler, Ph.D. (North Carolina, 1975), Professor. Area: Invertebrate Biology. (Marine Biology)

Adjunct Faculty

Brian Beal, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1994), Assistant Professor. Benthic Ecology, Marine Biology. University of Maine at Machias

Christopher Davis, Ph.D. (Univ. of Maine, 2000), Assistant Professor. Molluscan Biology and Aquaculture.

Lawrence Jacobson, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 1986), Associate Professor. Fisheries Population Dynamics, Assessment Modeling and Management. National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods, Hole, Massachusetts

Richard Langton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, 1975), Associate Professor. Fish Relationships and Fishing Effects on Habitat, Stock Enhancement. Buccoo Reef Trust

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