Feb 27, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources

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Program of Study


The program leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources is an interdisciplinary program with core faculty drawn from the School of Food and Agriculture, the School of Marine Sciences, School of Biology and Ecology, the School of Economics, and the College of Engineering.  

The graduate program in Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources is designed to train professionals for a career in aquaculture and related industries or for further academic training.  

The M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are intended to have a strong basis in the biological and/or physical sciences with additional training and research opportunities in areas such as aquatic health, physiology and nutrition, aquaculture production, engineering, food science and technology, social sciences, policy, and economics.

The Program Faculty come from multiple disciplinary areas including:

  • engineering, pathology, physiology, nutrition, seafood processing, and population and habitat modeling.  

Faculty work with a variety of aquatic species including, but not limited to:

  • cod, halibut, salmon, trout, oysters, clams, mussels, sea urchins, sea horses, abalone, seaweed, and lobsters.


Research Facilities

Extensive analytical facilities and associated research support are available on the Orono campus, and at off-campus locations both east and west of Orono.  

The Aquaculture Research Center (ARC) is located on the Orono campus and houses numerous temperature-controlled recirculating saltwater systems from 150 gallons to 4000 gallons.  

  • Facilities are available for egg incubation of cod, haddock, and halibut.  
  • A larval rearing laboratory allows the production of juvenile cod and haddocks as well as other fish species.  A live food production laboratory is available for the production of rotifers and brine shrimp.  
  • The Center houses numerous aquaria for holding lobsters, shellfish, sea urchins, and tropical reef fish.
  • The Center also houses a 120X8X4 ft wave tank which is used to conduct scale model tests.


The Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant, also located on campus, has state-of-the-art food processing equipment including:
Blast freezer, smoke house, pasteurizer, ozone system, and other equipment necessary for value-added product development of wild-caught and farm raised aquatic species.


The Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) is located on a 24-acre site in Franklin and has 610 feet of tidal marine frontage on Taunton Bay.  

  • It comprises both seawater and freshwater aquaculture systems.  
  • The objectives of CCAR are to develop integrated aquaculture techniques, to serve as a business incubator, to produce finfish juveniles for commercial grow-out, to develop sustainable aquaculture techniques, and to train staff and students in aquaculture techniques.
  • The Center houses a salmonid egg incubation facility, pilot scale recirculation systems for marine finfish, a marine finfish nursery, a marine broodstock facility, and several large grow-out systems.  The systems currently hold halibut, cod, sea worms, sea urchins, and the red alga Porphyra.  

The University of Maine at Machias Marine Science Field Station (MSFS) at the Downeast Institute (DEI) is located

on a 14-acre peninsula on Great Wass Island in the town of Beals.  It has 2,500 feet of tidal frontage (rocky shore with

some soft-bottom intertidal) overlooking Western Bay.

  • The facilities include a large ecology wet lab, three small climate-controlled labs for work with quarantine organisms, ocean acidification studies, and other climate-related efforts. A dry lab, specimen lab, and sample processing lab round out the marine research laboratory.
  • Business incubator.
  • Office space for PIs and graduate students.
  • Adjacent production-scale shellfish hatchery to produce commercially important bivalves for research, development, and outreach activities. Currently, species in culture include soft-shell clams, razor clams, Atlantic surf clams, Arctic surf clams, blue mussels, European oysters, American oysters, and sea scallops.
  • Classroom and Conference room.
  • Two fully-functional tidal impoundments (2- and 3-acres) for mesocosm studies.
  • 100-ft x 30-ft pier constructed of fiber composites with two 12-ft x 20-ft floats.
  • A new residence hall is within a 5-minute walk of the marine research lab. It can accommodate 18-20 scientists and students.

Cost and Financial Aid

More information on cost and financial aid can be obtained through:

The Bursar’s Office: https://umaine.edu/bursar/

Student Financial Aid Office: https://umaine.edu/stuaid/






Graduate Faculty


Robert C. Bayer, Ph.D. (Michigan State), Professor. The Lobster Institute, School of Food and Agriculture. Lobster fisheries and aquaculture nutrition, management and physiology.


Brian F. Beal, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Professor. University of Maine at Machias. Shellfish aquaculture, estuarine biology, marine benthic ecology, and experimental design.


Kathleen P. Bell, Ph.D. (University of Maryland), Professor, School of Economics. Environmental and natural resources economics, spatial modeling and analysis, human-environment interactions, and marine policy.


Timothy J. Bowden, Ph.D. (University of Aberdeen, UK), Associate Professor, School of Food and Agriculture.  Aquatic animal health, environmental impacts on animals, seasonality and circadian impacts.


Deborah A. Bouchard, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Assistant Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Aquatic animal health specialist.


Damian C. Brady, Ph.D. (University of Delaware), Assistant Professor, School of Marine Sciences. Spatial and temporal dynamics of water quality and organism behavior.


Ian R. Bricknell, Ph.D. (University of Lancaster, UK), Professor. School of Marine Sciences. Aquatic animal health, especially parasites such as sea lice.


Laurie Connell, Ph.D. (University of North Carolina), Research Professor, School of Marine Sciences, Marine algae, shellfish toxins and shellfish health.


Keith S. Evans, Ph.D. (Iowa State University). Assistant Professor. School of Economics and School of Marine Sciences. Marine resource economics, marine development, non-market valuation, and marine policy.


Heather Hamlin, Ph.D. (University of Maine). Associate Professor. School of Marine Sciences Reproductive biology and endocrinology of aquacultured animals.


Anne Lichtenwalner, Ph. D. (University of Idaho), DVM (Oregon State University), Associate Professor. School of Food and Agriculture. Extension Veterinarian and Director, University of Maine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Animal health and animal disease surveillance.


Caroline Noblet, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Assistant Professor.  School of Economics. Consumer choice, sustainable behavior, labeling.


Lewis (Brian) Perkins, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Laboratory Director and Assistant Research Professor. School of Food and Agriculture. Analytical method development for bioactive compounds, naturally occurring toxins and pesticide residues in food and environmental matrices.


Paul D. Rawson, Ph.D. (University of South Carolina), Associate Professor of Marine Science and Graduate Co-Coordinator.  School of Marine Science. Ecological genetics of marine invertebrates and marine bivalve aquaculture.


Denise I. Skonberg, Ph.D. (University of Washington), Associate Professor and Graduate Co-Coordinator. School of Food and Agriculture. Seafood by-product utilization, seafood processing, quality evaluation of aquaculture products.


Gayle Zydlewski, Ph.D. (University of Maine), Associate Professor, School of Marine Sciences. Environmental impact on behavior, population dynamics and physiology.


External Graduate Faculty


Carrie J. Byron, Ph.D. (University of Rhode Island), Assistant Professor. Department of Marine Science. University of New England. Food web ecology, trophic dynamics and carrying capacity of ocean foods production.


Barry A. Costa-Pierce, Ph.D. (University of Hawaii), Henry L. & Grace Doherty Professor, Chair of Marine Sciences, and Director of Marine Science Center - University of New England.  Ecological aquaculture, detritus and food web trophic dynamics, social ecology of aquaculture and fisheries systems.


Joseph Zydlewski, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts), Assistant Unit Leader-Fisheries U.S. Geological Survey, Maine Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Ecology & Environmental Science. Migratory behavior, ecology and physiology of fishes.

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