All posts by Rosemary Armstrong

About Rosemary Armstrong

Program Assistant

Ocean acidification presents challenges for marine organisms

This spring (2016), the Coastal Studies Center hosted the students of EOS2625: Ocean Acidification as they conducted semester-long acidification experiments examining both larval and adult stages of the local green sea urchin. The course was co-taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Meredith White, a researcher who also served on the Maine Ocean Acidification Commission, and marine sciences Laboratory Instructor Elizabeth Halliday Walker.

Human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing acidification of the ocean at a rate unprecedented in the geologic record, and consequently changing ocean chemistry in ways that may present challenges for many marine organisms. In addition to lowering pH, the changes in carbonate chemistry are making it more difficult for organisms to build calcium carbonate shells or skeletal structures. Because the spines, jaws, and internal skeletal structure of sea urchins are all composed of calcium carbonate, there is some concern about how these organisms will fare in the future.

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Experimental setup at the Coastal Studies Center.

To investigate the effects of ocean acidification on sea urchin growth and chemical composition, adult urchins were kept in two flow-through seawater tanks at the Coastal Studies Center for two months. In one tank, carbon dioxide was bubbled into the water to maintain a pH approximately 0.5pH units lower than the ambient seawater.

Students measured physiological stress over time by seeing how long it took for urchins to right themselves after being flipped over, and measured weight gain over the course of the experiment. To measure calcification during the experiment, Biology Professor Amy Johnson and Research Associate Olaf Ellers shared a unique method they have used in past research on sea urchins. The students injected the urchins with tetracycline at the beginning of the experiment, and because tetracycline binds to calcium, it gets incorporated into any new skeletal structures that are actively being synthesized. Tetracycline has the additional benefit of fluorescing under certain wavelengths of light, so at the end of the experiment the skeletal structures could be photographed under the epifluorescent microscope to visualize a fluorescent band of growth and measure exactly how much the jaws had grown since the beginning of the experiment.

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After the adult urchin experiment was completed, students spawned urchins to study larval development

With help from EOS Professor Emily Peterman, students were also able to assess the chemical composition of the carbonate structures using a brand new scanning electron microscope with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). In addition to changes in chemical composition, the electron microscope also revealed the beautiful complexity of the sea urchin skeletal structures, which raised many more questions about calcification!

Finally, sea urchins were spawned to conduct a similar experiment on larvae. In many organisms, larvae are more sensitive to changes in the environment. The spaceship-like sea urchin larvae grow skeletal rods as they develop, which are also calcium carbonate, and students found that larvae reared in high-CO2 conditions had shorter skeletal rods.

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Nine-day-old sea urchin larvae

The culturing techniques made possible by the facilities at the Coastal Studies Center, and the ability to conduct realistic ocean acidification experiments by manipulating pH with carbon dioxide, were essential to the success of the course and helped reveal the complexities of this growing field of research. Most of all, the interdisciplinary collaboration within the course sparked many new lines of inquiry, and revealed how big problems can be attacked in myriad complementary ways.

Story written by Lab Instructor Elizabeth Walker

A post from the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester- fieldtrip to Baja California Sur!

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The echo of scales slapping still water en mass reverberates between steep rock walls, jolting me awake. The school of jack responsible for the dawn racket darts out of the cove toward deeper water. I sit up, squinting in the new day’s sunlight. I wiggle my legs out of my sleeping bag and swing my toes down into the cool sand. It takes me a minute to register the reality that I’m on a literal desert island in the middle of the Sea of Cortez: Isla Partida. Isla Partida is separated from her larger sister, Espiritu Santo, by a narrow sliver of the sea. Both are situated in Baja California Sur, Mexico. We, a group of students and scientists from Bowdoin College and Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, are camping in this amazing and intimidating place to experience Marine Science in a truly unique way. Scientists, students to professors, from Maine and La Paz are coming together to exchange ideas, observe an extraordinary ecosystem, and experience all the Gulf of California has to offer.

Two pangas, longboats common in Baja, bob expectantly on the moorings in the cove. Fire-warmed coffee, chorizo, and eggs provide much needed sustenance and set us on course for the day. We wrangle snorkel gear, wetsuits, ripening salt-soaked clothing, and bathing suits from their overnight drying spots. Students and professors alike are eager for the surprises of the day.

We head for another adjacent island to the north, a rocky outcrop host to thriving sea lion and frigate bird colonies – Los Islotes. The guano-stained shell visible protruding out of the ocean tells only a fraction of the story; under surface of the sea, the wall of rock drops off precipitously. A coral reef, teeming with diversity, clings to the side of the drop-off, fed by the nutrient rich waters coming up from the deep. It is an El Nino year, so the waters are unusually warm. We observe some coral bleaching, as well as crown-of-thorns starfish preying on the vulnerable colonies. Students add to their species list with each glance, king angelfish, a variety of parrotfish, skipjack tuna and grouper darting briefly out of the deep blue depths. Coral polyps dangle their tiny tentacles into the water column to catch a passing meal.

The windward side of Los Islotes is connected to her leeward side through a spectacular archway. The reef wall extends from the precipitous deep water, through the arch, to the calmer, shallower waters. Swimming toward the safety of calmer waters, we are greeted with playful sea lion pups, eager to tug on fins, hands, or even a lock of hair or two.

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Pruned hands and a chill through the wetsuit, even in the El Nino warm waters, signals it is time to lug ourselves back on board the pangas and head for the next chapter of our day’s adventure. Post written by Sarah Kingston, Doherty Marine Biology Postdoctoral Scholar, and faculty member in the Marine Science Semester.

Students Communicate Science Through Film

Science to Story, the second of Professor David Conover’s two courses offered this academic year, examines the translation of science into stories and digital media that successfully engage public attention.

This semester, students began the immersion into science communication by analyzing psychological and behavioral studies relating people to climate change. Early research included an introduction to Dan Kahan’s study on the Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus and Anthony Lieserowitz’s work on the public’s perception of climate change. Furthermore, the class had the opportunity to speak with MIT’s Professor of Atmospheric Science, Kerry Emanuel, as well as with Discovery Channel’s executive producer, Paul Gasek, in order to get a better sense for what real-world challenges arise when communicating science to the public. Students have viewed various films and television shows such as The Day After Tomorrow, Earth Underwater, and the 2014 Emmy Award winning television series Years of Living Dangerously, analyzing these productions for their accuracy and effectiveness in conveying climate science.

Throughout the course of the semester, students have taken a creative approach to filming and editing and will continue to practice setting up green screen shoots and interviews as they prepare for a major final production. The class has spent time filming at the Coastal Studies Center working with Marine Biology Professors David Carlon and Sarah Kingston. While scientific accuracy and creativity are paramount, students are encouraged to take strong consideration of who their audience is and how the tones and undertones of their productions shape the way viewers connect with the scientific concepts being presented.

Perspectives on Climate Change is an early semester submission by Emi Gaal ‘15.

Bowdoin Coastal Studies Center courses, Fieldtrip to Hurricane Island

Written for Hurricane Island by Sarah Kingston

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Bowdoin College is running two new field-based courses this fall out of their Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island: Dimensions of Marine Biodiversity (David Carlon, Director of the Coastal Studies Center) and Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution (Sarah Kingston, Doherty Marine Biology Postdoctoral Scholar). Students and Instructors from both courses spent a weekend on Hurricane Island in October, 2014 as a portion of their field seasons.

The Dimensions of Biodiversity class is starting the collection and curation of a long-term dataset to assess changes in the intertidal community as climate changes in the Gulf of Maine. The Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution course is executing a population level study of Littorine snails (periwinkle snails) in the Gulf of Maine (utilizing next generation sequencing technology).

The Bowdoin group arrived on a bit of a grey Friday afternoon. Despite the cloudy skies, hurricane-islandthe ride over from Rockland was a beautiful panorama of rocky shores and pine-crested islands. Hurricane was welcoming with warm food and drink as well as cozy cabins. The students were embarking on quite the field adventure, given the rain in the forecast for the next day.

The Bowdoin visitors targeted two sites: a sheltered section at Gibbon Point, and an INTERTIDAL MONTORING 2exposed, wave-impacted, portion across from Two Bush Island. The Dimensions of Biodiversity class installed permanent markers (bolts drilled into the rock) for three different tidal level transects: low, medium, and high. They dutifully collected the first year’s worth of data using quadrats and microquadrats to subsample the area along the transects. Students noted presence and abundance of organisms in the community like algae, snails, crabs, and barnacles. The Marine Molecular Ecology and Evolution students collected Littorina saxatilis from rocky crevices in the upper intertidal as well as Littorina obtusata hiding amongst the rockweed in the mid- and lower intertidal before helping their classmates on the transect surveys.

Rain, from mist to a steady fall, persisted throughout Saturday’s work. The chilly water did not dampen spirits, however, as students and instructors alike explored tide pools, evenBanner-seastar-student crop small happening upon a resident starfish.

Nightfall brought about another warm meal gathering. Students shook off the cold, damp day, and embarked on course discussions and mid-term studying. Hurricane Island turned out to be the perfect place to focus on scholarship after a long day in the field.

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Interested in Marine Sciences?

On Friday, September 26th, 12:00-1:00 pm Jon Witman will join students and faculty in the ES Common Room, Adams Hall for an informal lunch and a short video about Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine— one of the most Capture2dynamic hotspots of biodiversity in New England and the entire North Atlantic, an area where he conducts research and collaborates on conservation efforts. Professor Witman will also share his insight into field-study based marine science programs – an area particularly relevant to Bowdoin as it prepares to launch the new Marine Science Semester program next fall.

Professor  Witman is professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University. Having spent a lifetime studying and researching marine ecology around the world – and more specifically in six out of the planet’s seven ocewitman-calendarans – Professor Witman is passionate about developing and promoting marine conservation science.

He received a B.A, M.S and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire. Witman has taught at Northeastern University, where he helped develop the Three Seas Marine Biology Program. He has also worked as a collaborating scientist at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Galapagos Islands. His research interests primarily include the effects of large-scale processes on local communities, benthic-pelagic coupling, biodiversity and supply-sided and trophic ecology. Currently, his lab is conducting research focused around three themes: 1) physical forcing of marine benthic ecosystems, 2) studies on the origin vs. the maintenance of pattern, and 3) marine biodiversity. How community structuring processes vary with scale is a consideration that pervades all aspects of the lab’s research.

Professor Witman will be delivering a lecture on Thursday, September 25th, 4:00-5:00 pm in Druck 20 on the development of marine communities in the era of climate change.

Image:http://www.witmanlab.com/

Summer in Maine: Islands, boats and the search for mussels

Last week I travelled with Dr. Sarah Kingston (Doherty Marine Biology Postdoctoral Scholar), Dr. Dave Carlon (Director of the Coastal Studies Center), and Marko Melendy (Animal Care Supervisor) to collect mussels at two sites here in Maine: Hurricane Island and Mt Desert Rock. We collected blue mussels (Mytiulus edulis) and bay mussels (M. trossulus) for an experiment Sarah is conducting. She is examining the genetic basis of variation in shell calcification under environmental conditions possible due to ocean acidification. In this round of experiments (the first round was conducted to determine which experimental scheme yielded the greatest variation in shell calcification), there will be one control tank (some food, ambient temperature, and ambient pH) and three identical experimental tanks (no food, high temperature, and low pH). After two weeks, the mussels will be removed from the tanks, their change in shell calcification recorded, and samples of the mussels’ muscles collected. The DNA in these tissue samples will analyzed by a technique called next generation sequencing, and Sarah will look for genetic variation that is associated with calcification rates.

Our trip began at eight on Tuesday morning (August 12, 2014), when we drove to Rockland and then boarded a boat that took us to Hurricane Island. 01By the standards of places that are off the power grid, Hurricane Island is luxurious. They have an impressive solar array that enables hot showers, phone and computer charging, and electric lighting. Hurricane Island was also surprisingly busy; in addition to our little group and the people who work on the island, there was a high school group and some wilderness-first-responders-in-training. Once we arrived on the island, we dropped our things off and hopped back on the boat. Mussels live in the intertidal zone, and it’s easiest to collect them at low tide. Sarah had already asked around for likely sites, which we approached by boat. We hopped ashore and began our search, looking under rockweed and in crevices beneath and between boulders. Our first several sites were rich with periwinkles, whelks, and barnacles, but the only mussels to be found were some solitary horse mussels (M. modiolus). This was what we had feared might happen. When asked where to find mussels, people commonly told Sarah to try such-and-such place, but that there weren’t as many as there used to be. At least the day was beautiful. I’m from Hawaii, and let me tell you, there’s nothing more scenic than Maine in the summer time.

02As we cruised around, we decided on a whim to check an old pier for mussels growing on its sides. Finally we found them hiding in a generous crack just above the water level. With a certain amount of stretching and the help of the boat’s gaff, we were able to collect our first mussel specimens. However, we didn’t want just any mussels. They had to be two to three inches long. Recall that Sarah is interesting in calcification rate; mussels within this size range should still be adding to their shells because they’re in a growth phase. We collected approximately twenty appropriately-sized mussels, put them in a mesh bag, and placed them in a cooler with seawater and ice packs to keep them comfortable. Our luck held at our last two sites. The mussels in those places were not attached to rock as we expected—they were partially buried in the sand like clams. “The cool new lifestyle,” as Marko put it.

04With about seventy mussels in hand, we returned to Hurricane Island. It was only around three in the afternoon, and we had the rest of the day to walk around the island, read, or nap.

Wednesday morning was foggy, but that’s to be expected on the water at five in the morning. We took the boat back to the mainland and separated into two groups. Dave and Marko returned to Brunswick with the mussels we had collected. Sarah and I continued northward to Bar Harbor. From there, we departed for Mt Desert Rock. The fog followed us on our boat ride to the rock.

08Mt. Desert Rock is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a six hundred by two hundred yard chunk of granite that protrudes from the sea.

It’s about twenty-six miles from shore and, like Hurricane Island, is completely off the grid. A lighthouse—built in 1847 using stone quarried on Mt. Desert Rock itself—stands next to the small house that housed the lighthouse keeper in the days of lighthouse keepers. 09There is no running water on the rock. Drinking water is brought by boat along with other groceries. The coast guard has a solar array for the lighthouse, but power for the island’s crew is provided by their own small solar array and a backup generator. Non-electric lighting is provided by lamps that burn propane with kerosene. It’s bare of trees, which makes it look bleak, but it’s far from barren. There are grasses, wild rose bushes, and droves of sea gulls. Herring gulls (common gulls) and black-backed gulls (larger and more aggressive) share the island, and it’s almost impossible to walk five feet without getting screamed at by at least one. Juveniles are everywhere, some of them already flying and some still downy and small. 10More exotic than the gulls, however, were the seals. Gray seals and harbor seals haul themselves out from the water onto the island every day. The island’s crew counts them daily, and counts of several hundred have been recorded. Our group was large for Mt. Desert Rock—the island’s crew, Sarah and me, and a group of fifteen high school students and their two counselors—so more seals than usual opted to remain in the water instead of facing the human horde. The seals that hauled out slept in the sun.

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The wary seals floated offshore with their heads and necks out, looking like solemn mermaids.

We arrived on the island in the afternoon, with the high tide. Collection took place at low tide the next day, around two in the afternoon. The mussels on the rock were difficult to find. We were warned they would be small, but I didn’t process that until we were out looking for them. The first ones we found were nestled in among the barnacles; some had even grown in the shells of dead barnacles. These mussels were small enough to balance on the tip of my finger. I think the constant wave action may be responsible for their small size. We collected twenty or so of these tiny mussels, but we also found some larger ones—exceeding an inch in length—in the cracks in the rock.

16An hour and a half later we had collected approximately fifty specimens, and the rest of the day was free to spend watching the gulls, seals, and sea. I didn’t see any whales while I was on the rock, but we had seen porpoises on the boat ride out to the island. I was told by one of the crew members that minke whales can sometimes be seen from the rock—this testimony was supported by the sad, surprisingly small skull that was all that remained of a minke that had been beached on the island several years ago. When we left on Friday morning, there was a basking shark hanging out near the island. It wasn’t much to see—just a black fin—but knowing it was there was exciting. By Friday night we were back on Bowdoin’s campus.

This is just the first step for the next phase of the project. This week we will travel even farther north to Cobscook Bay in pursuit of more mussels. When we have all our specimens, we will label each one and record its buoyant weight. They will be subjected to the ocean acidification manipulations for two weeks, after which they will be weighed again and dissected for muscle tissue samples. The DNA libraries will then be sent away for next generation sequencing, at which point Sarah can finally begin her true analysis.

Jenna Watling, ’16
Jenna has a faculty-student research fellowship working with Dave Carlon and Sarah Kinsgton on her project: “The evolutionary response of populations of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) populations to climate change”.

Christine Walder ’15 on Rockweed Harvesting

2014-07-07 10.29.59I am studying Rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) harvesting in the Gulf of Maine, both at the Coastal Studies Center in Harpswell, ME and on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy. Rockweed is harvested commercially for use in fertilizers, food additives, and some other minor industries; landings have been increasing in recent decades and there is a growing concern over how harvesting activities are affecting the ecosystem.

Rockweed beds are essentially the old-growth forest of the intertidal zone, much like the Amazon rainforest in South America. Young algae sporelings settle onto rocks only during rare low-flow conditions, and once attached grow very slowly (approximately 6-10 cm per year). For a plant that regularly reaches two meters in length, this means that the fronds alone are several decades old, while holdfasts have been shown to live for centuries.

Although rockweed beds may look like a nondescript slimy olive-green mass just waiting to sprain an ankle the second one sets foot on their slippery surface, it is far from the “weed” that its name suggests. Rockweed is tough and chemically well defended, making it unappetizing for the run-of-the-mill intertidal herbivore. It forms an important habitat for a variety of organisms: periwinkles, crab, dog whelks, amphipods, isopods, bryozoans, and nudibranchs are all found within its holdfasts and fronds, while shorebirds and Eider ducklings forage in it. Juvenile fish, many of which are commercially important, spend part of their life cycle in the rockweed. It acts as an important buffer against the stress of extreme temperature fluctuation, desiccation, and wave stress of the intertidal zone, and it is also important for cycling nutrients and energy through the ocean ecosystem. While A. nodosum plays many important roles within the ecosystem, it is still important to note that it is the competitively dominant seaweed of the intertidal zone and reduces other algal diversity (but few intertidal seaweeds have the same mature biomass and complexity levels of rockweed).

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Because of the complex role of Ascophyllum nodosum in the intertidal ecosystem, its harvest naturally begs the question—what is the ecological impact of cutting rockweed? My research is focused on answering this question in a general sense. I am using a BACI (Before, After, Control, Impact) experimental design where I have set up paired 2x2m plots. I survey both, cut one to the 16 inch minimum length required by the Maine DMR, then survey them again immediately following and at one-month intervals after harvest. Surveys involve noting plot characteristics (slope, substrate, vertical height, etc.), identifying all algal species present, and identifying and counting all other organisms in a 1 m2 quadrat placed in the center of each 2x2m plot.

In addition to this I am monitoring the regrowth of the Ascophyllum after it has been cut. I generally find a few staple organisms in each plot—Littorina spp.(periwinkles), Carcinus maenas (green crabs), Nucella lapillus(dog whelks), Semibalanus balanoides (barnacles), Mytilus edulis (blue mussels), amphipods and isopods (small crustaceans which look very much like insects) Fucus vesiculosus (another type of rockweed), Chondrus crispus (a red algae), and Lithothamnium (an encrusting pink algae). However, sometimes other creatures also are found in lower densities and add a pop of excitement to my day—nudibranchs (sea slugs) are my personal favorite, and I have also found sea stars, sea urchins, scale worms, and a rock gunnel.

My work at the Coastal Studies Center is part of a comparative study between Maine and Kent Island, located in the Bay of Fundy on the border between Maine and Canada. My experimental design is essentially the same at the two study sites, although I established study plots on Kent Island in 2013 and have been tracking them for a year at this point. My hope is to collect long-term data from Kent Island, and also to compare the effects of cutting Ascophyllum nodosum between to relatively different locations. Kent Island experiences 28-foot tides (as compared to the 9-foot tides in Harpswell), and the intertidal zone supports a very dense, mature rockweed bed that has never been harvested, while the rockweed at the Coastal Studies Center is much less prolific. Past studies looking at rockweed harvesting have drawn varied conclusions, and conducting a comparative study will help to determine whether some of these differences are due to site-specific variation.

2014-07-07 10.40.55I do not have any results for my work at the Coastal Studies Center as of yet, but the data from Kent Island indicates that the harvested plots have regained little of the length and biomass that was removed a year ago. A general reduction in most invertebrate abundances (amphipods, periwinkles and crabs being the most outstanding) that persists a year following harvest was observed. Algal biodiversity increases after a year, suggesting that removing the competitively dominant algae stimulates other algal growth. I plan to follow the Kent Island plots into September, and the Coastal Studies plots for as long as the weather permits (Maine winters being what they are, this might not be much later than September). My data will be used for a Senior Honors Project.

For a review of rockweed harvesting, see Seeley and Schlesinger (2012): Sustainable seaweed cutting? The rockweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) industry of Maine and the Maritime Provinces. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1249: 84-103.

My research has been supported by the Bowdoin Scientific Station Fellowship and the Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship.

Project Advisors: Damon Gannon, PhD and Amy Johnson, PhD.

Student Research Symposium

The 2014 Coastal Studies Fellows and Faculty Members
The 2014 Coastal Studies Fellows and Faculty Members

After six weeks of conducting their own research projects, the Coastal Studies Center’s summer fellows were eager to share their research with each other and visiting audience members at the Coastal Studies Summer 2014 Research Symposium.

With research projects ranging from studies of green crabs eating habits to lobsters’ cardiac responses to specific peptides, the short presentations given by 15 students and 7 faculty members span 7 different academic departments, showcasing the varied nature of Coastal Studies fellowships.

Fellowships that support student research in the coastal sciences include the Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship, the Doherty Coastal Studies Research Fellowship, the Freedman Summer Research Fellowship, and the NSF Faculty Student Research on Computational Sustainability. Research topics ranged from studies that use marine organisms as models for understanding fundamental biological processes – locomotion in sea stars, for instance, or cardiac neural control in lobsters – to investigations of how coastal organisms and ecosystems are responding to environmental shifts such as rising ocean temperature and acidity.

lobster (Illustration credit: Abby McBride)

In his introductory remarks, Coastal Studies Center director and Associate Professor of Biology David Carlon described not only the ecological changes that are taking place in the Gulf of Maine but also the changes in store for the Center and its on-site Marine Lab.

“The lab is growing already,” Carlon said, with new dry- and wet-lab spaces scheduled to open in time for classes this fall, not to mention the pending acquisition of a new research vessel that will join the R/V Laine at the Coastal Studies Center dock. In the works is a marine science semester targeted at juniors and seniors, planned for fall 2015.

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Associate Professor David Carlon presents

Following Carlon’s introduction, faculty members from Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Oceanographic Science, and Environmental Studies described their research and shared perspectives from their areas of expertise, while students supported by summer research fellowships reported on progress they’ve made so far and previewed their plans for the rest of the summer, opening up the floor for questions after each talk.

These students and faculty are making use of field sites throughout Maine and beyond, with a concentration of activity at the Coastal Studies Center itself, only twelve miles from Bowdoin’s campus – where they can take advantage not only of aquarium tanks and other laboratory facilities, but also the natural lab that is Harpswell Sound.

Bowdoin Marine Science Semester Fall 2014

In the Fall of 2014 we will run a pilot program for the Marine Science Semester, offering two courses at the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory and Coastal Studies Center. Transportation will be provided.

Each of course counts as an elective in the Biology Major. In addition, Biology 2330 will count as a Group 3 core course. Pre-requisites: Bio 1101, Bio 1102 or 1109, and one semester of Math.

Course to be taught Fall 2014

Dimensions of Marine Biodiversity – Biology 3301. Dave Carlon.
Class: Tuesday 2:30-3:55, Lab: Thursday 1:00-3:55
This inquiry driven field course examines the significance of marine biodiversity through the lenses of systematics, genetics, and functional ecology. Each semester we consider major contemporary scientific problems by confronting student-generated hypotheses with data sets from multiple dimensions of biodiversity in coastal Maine. For Fall 2014, we will examine the impacts of invasive species on native shellfish populations, build a longitudinal data set of coastal plankton, and investigate potential impacts of coastal aquaculture on marine ecosystem functioning. Taught at the Coastal Studies Center, Orr’s Island (Same as ES 2234).

Marine Molecular Ecology & Evolution – Biology 2330.  Sarah Kingston.
Class: Tuesday 1:00-2:25, Lab: Friday 1:30-4:30
Features the application of molecular data to ecological and evolutionary questions in coastal and marine contexts. Hands on work will introduce students to field sampling, data generation, and analysis of molecular data sets (using both Sanger-based and Next Generation Sequencing technologies). The course will emphasize robust sampling design in both ecological and population genetic contexts. Theoretical foci will include evolutionary and population genetic concepts and analytical tools: tenets of Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium, Wright-Fisher model, the coalescent, evolutionary processes and signatures in the genome, speciation: maintenance and breakdown of reproductive isolation, spatial patterns and phylogeography, selection and linking genotype to phenotype. Lectures, discussions, data analysis, and computer-based simulations will demonstrate the relevant theoretical principles of population genetics and phylogenetics. A class project will begin a long-term sampling program that uses molecular tools to understand temporal and spatial change in the ocean. During the course of the project, students will learn to apply bioinformatic analyses to population-level genomic data.  Taught at the Coastal Studies Center, on Orr’s Island. (Same as ES 2233)

Questions? Contact Dave Carlon or Sarah Kingston

Dave Carlon, Associate Professor of Biology, and Director of the Bowdoin Marine Laboratory
232 Druckenmiller Hall
Phone: 207-798-4364, e-mail: dcarlon@bowdoin.edu

Sarah Kingston, Doherty Marine biology Postdoctoral Scholar
109 Bannister Hall
E-mail: skingsto@bowdoin.edu