May 30, 2024  
2003-2004 Graduate Catalog 
2003-2004 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 activities realted to scientific policy for marine resource and coastal zone management. More than 50 faculty are affiliated with SMS, includin 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; fish biology; fish pathology; fisheries science; seaweed biology; maritime studies; and ocean engineering.

Faculty of SMS 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). Further information on SMS is on the web at:

The School interacts regularly with scientists at other marine research institutions within the region. Examples include Maine Maritime Academy, the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Huntsman Marine Science Center in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

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, 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 and Director, School of Marine Sciences. Area: Biological Oceanography of Shelf Seas. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

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

Bruce Barber, Ph.D. (South Florida, 1984), Professor. Area: Bivalve Physiology and Pathology. (Aquaculture, Marine Biology)

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Distel, Ph.D. (Scripps, 1987), Associate Professor. Area: Marine Microbiology and Molecular Biology. (Marine Biology)

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

Ione Hunt von Herbing, Ph.D. (Dalhousie, 1994), Assistant Professor. Area: Biological/Physical Interactions; Ichthyoplankton Transport. (Marine Biology, Aquaculture, 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)

Gary M. King, Ph.D. (Georgia, 1978), Professor. Area: Microbiology, Microbial Biogeochemistry. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

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), Professor. Area: Migratory and Transport Mechanisms of Fishes, Fisheries Oceanography, Eel Biology. Associate Director, School of Marine Sciences. (Oceanography, Marine Biology)

Michael Opitz, D.V.M. (Berlin, 1964), Professor. Area: Diseases, Health Management. (Aquaculture, Marine Biology)

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

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

Paul Rawson, Ph.D. (South Carolina, 1996), Assistant 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)

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), Professor. Area: Benthic Ecology. (Oceanography, Marine Biology, Aquaculture)

Mark Wells, Ph.D. (Maine, 1989), Associate Professor. Area: Metal-Plankton Interactions. (Oceanography)

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

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

Phil Yund, Ph.D. (Yale, 1987), Research Associate Professor. Area: Evolutionary Ecology and Fertilization Biology. (Marine Biology)


Cooperating Faculty

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

Katherine Boettcher, Ph.D. (Southern California, 1994), Assistant Professor. Area: Marine and Invertebrate Microbiology. (Marine Biology)

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

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

Terry Haines, Ph.D. (Michigan State, 1971), Professor. Area: Environmental Contaminants and Fishes. (Marine Biology)

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

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

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

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

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

Ralph Townsend, Ph.D. (Wisconsin-Madison, 1983), Professor. Area: Fisheries Management and Fisheries Economics. (Marine Policy)

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

Gregory Zelinski, Ph.D. (Massachusetts, 1987), Research Associate Professor. Area: Climatology/Paleoclimatology Meteorology. (Oceanography)

Associate Faculty

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

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

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