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Grad Student Developing Pigment Extract From Lobster Shells to Color Fish

A University of Maine graduate student is researching ways to use lobster shell waste to create a pigment extract as a green alternative to synthetic versions found in fish food.

Beth Fulton, a Ph.D. student in food science, is working with other researchers on the project that aims to use environmentally friendly solvents and methods to develop a carotenoid pigment extract from lobster shell waste generated by processing facilities. The extract would be used in food for farmed salmonid fish, such as salmon and trout.

“I feel this project could lead to a really simple answer to a lot of problems that we have in Maine at the same time,” Fulton says, noting that decreasing waste and disposal costs by recycling secondary processing resources could have a positive effect on the fishing industry and communities.

Lobster shells are rich in carotenoid pigments — yellow to red pigments found in plants and animals — that can’t be synthesized in salmonid fish but can be used as a natural colorant in food. Farmed salmonid fish get their color from their diet, which contains commercial pigments that may include synthetic carotenoids from petroleum products, dried copepods, whole yeast and algae, or oil extracts from krill. Fulton says 15 percent of salmon feed cost comes from the commercial pigment alone.

“This pigment can potentially replace artificial color in common food products like farmed salmon feeds, and increase the value of whole lobsters,” Fulton says.

Fulton of Lee, N.H., has been working on the project since 2011, primarily with her faculty adviser Denise Skonberg, an associate professor of food science at UMaine. After citing Skonberg’s research in her master’s thesis at the University of New Hampshire, Fulton decided she wanted to attend UMaine to earn her Ph.D. under Skonberg’s guidance. Fulton also has a bachelor’s degree in food science from Cornell University.

When Fulton first came to UMaine, Skonberg suggested she look at what seafood byproducts are getting thrown away in the state and determine usable and efficient food uses for them.

“When we process lobsters — which are 70 percent of this state’s fishing income — we throw away almost 80 percent of the animal, including shell and organs,” Fulton says.

Fulton took Skonberg’s advice and related it to what she had learned while completing her master’s work on green crabs. During that research, she was fascinated by the adult crabs’ ability to change color from orange to green-blue every year.

“That color change is not very well understood, but has been attributed to interactions between proteins and carotenoids in the shell,” Fulton says. “So I started reading a lot about the pigments in lobster shell because they are similar to the ones seen in green crabs.”

In lobster shell, the main pigment is a red-colored carotenoid called astaxanthin, which when bound to a protein called crustacyanin is a blue-green color, she says.

“I started reading a lot about astaxanthin and found there is a very large market for this pigment, and most of the stuff we use in our salmon food is made artificially from petroleum products that are not extracted from natural sources. Consumers are becoming aware of that and are demanding natural colors,” Fulton says.

Fulton is currently examining different methods of removing minerals from lobster shells. She studies a variety of factors, such as how fine the shell needs to be ground, what type of food-grade chemicals should be used, how the shell should be exposed to the chemicals and what type of agitation should be used to maximize the removal of minerals.

She plans to determine the best treatment for pressurized liquid extraction and then look at the effect removing the minerals has on both cooked and high-pressure shucked waste.

Once the extract is developed, it will be assessed for total carotenoid content, carotenoid profile and antioxidant activity. The researchers also propose the extract will then be added to food for rainbow trout, and the effectiveness of the extract in coloring the fish will be studied in comparison to a conventional synthetic pigment.

After Fulton graduates in 2016, she plans to work in the seafood industry.

The project has received a $4,800 Maine Agricultural Center grant, and Fulton has received a $3,000 graduate student award from the Northeast Section of the Institute of Food Technologists for related research. The group recently applied for a grant to fund the project titled “Green production methods for a high-value product from lobster shell waste.” The proposed study would last two years starting in June 2014.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3747

Provost Jeff Hecker Focuses on Goals for Faculty and Student Success

Dr. Jeff Hecker, University of Maine Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, is enthusiastic about his role in facilitating implementation of the Blue Sky Plan — the university’s blueprint to become a nationwide leader among America’s research universities in student success, achievement and community engagement.

UMaine President Paul Ferguson named Hecker to this position in July. He replaces Susan Hunter, who was named Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the University of Maine System.

Provost Hecker, the former Dean of the UMaine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, says his challenge is to manage the day-to-day operations of the Academic Affairs division while keeping an eye on the big picture — communicating long-range, mission-driven goals, and moving Blue Sky Plan initiatives forward in collaboration with faculty, other Cabinet members and the broader UMaine community.

Hecker describes the Blue Sky Plan unveiled in October 2011 as unified, ambitious, focused and inclusive. He is primarily focused on those initiatives that relate to the academic affairs agenda that are integral to each of the five major Blue Sky Pathways.

“The heart of UMaine’s mission is undergraduate education. As we pursue our research, community engagement and graduate education goals, we can’t lose sight of that core mission,” he says. “The beauty of the Blue Sky Plan is that it is at once aspirational and pragmatic. We are committed to growth as Maine’s land grant research university and equally committed to pursue excellence in our core mission.”

Provost Hecker and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs Jeff St. John are leading the campus in addressing a number of the Blue Sky Strategic Initiatives related to academic affairs. The newly reconstituted University Teaching Council and several Blue Sky Advisory Teams are assisting them in addressing a number of priority issues.

Faculty Development is at the top of the list. Those initiatives include promotion of best practices in the classroom, labs and studios, creating faculty development opportunities for the more than 100 adjunct faculty UMaine employs every year, enhancing online teaching quality, and launching the new Blue Sky Faculty Fellows Program to develop the next generation of faculty leaders and university spokespeople.

Due to significant enrollment increases, particularly in engineering and sciences, Provost Hecker is also exploring a new initiative to bring postdoctoral fellows to UMaine as Visiting Assistant Professors.

During their two- to-three-year fixed-length appointments, the visiting faculty will hone their teaching and research skills to prepare themselves for careers in academia. At the same time, they will help address the need for high-quality instruction in high-demand areas, such as mathematics, English and laboratory sciences.

The idea, Hecker says, is to create opportunities that benefit both the postdoctoral faculty member and UMaine. “These positions could be an important piece of the puzzle,” Hecker says. “We are exploring cost-effective ways of meeting our students’ needs for quality, innovative instruction.”

A second Blue Sky emphasis for Provost Hecker is student success. He is leading a multipronged approach to improve the four- and six-year graduation rates by 10 percent by 2017. “Relative to our peers, we do well,” he says, adding that UMaine’s four-year graduation rate is about 40 percent and its six-year rate is about 60 percent. “But we can do better.”

An advisory group is gathering data about factors that impact whether students remain enrolled, including affordability; timely access to courses they need; and quality of their campus experience.

Dr. St. John, says Provost Hecker, is also working on the UMaine Blue Sky Plan Pathway 2 initiative to improve annual student retention by 5 percent by 2017. From 2011–12, UMaine succeeded in that effort — 81 percent of the 2012 cohort of first-time, full-time students stayed in school, which was a 5 percent improvement from the 2011 cohort, according to the University of Maine Office of Institutional Research. The challenge is to maintain that improvement.

Lastly, Provost Hecker and Faculty Senate President Harlan Onsrud are working collaboratively to create a process of inventorying UMaine’s academic programs to better define UMaine’s strengths and opportunities. By jointly hosting Academic Affairs Faculty Forums in which faculty members discuss academic initiatives and how to best advance strategic goals, the university is engaging in an open process that will help to guide investments central to future success.

“It’s fantastic having an opportunity like this,” Hecker says. “This is my 28th year of employment here and I am thrilled to be in a leadership role, helping UMaine achieve its goals.”

Contact: Beth Staples, 207.581.3777

Ethos: 2014 Senior Capstone Art Exhibition Runs Through Jan. 31

The 2014 senior capstone art exhibition runs through Jan. 31.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745




Lord Hall Gallery through Jan. 31, 2014
Lord Hall Gallery through Jan. 31, 2014

Ethos 2014 Senior Capstone Art Exhibition

Cultured, Fashioned Eyes #3, 2013
Cultured, Fashioned Eyes #3, 2013

Katy Hein: 3 plate copper intaglio

The Blue Vase, 2012
The Blue Vase, 2012

Monique Boutin: Acrylic/ Canvas Board

Interstice I, II and III, 2013
Interstice I, II and III, 2013

Courtney Schaff: Acrylic/ Canvas

Facial hair Suite: Why Make The Choice?, 2013
Facial hair Suite: Why Make The Choice?, 2013

Ellen Juskewitch

Caine and Abel, 2013
Caine and Abel, 2013

Blake Eden: Acrylics on Lego

Self Portrait, 2013
Self Portrait, 2013

Dory Whynot: Oil on Canvas


Elizabeth Connolly: Charcoal on Paper

Monument for Kintsugi, 2013
Monument for Kintsugi, 2013

Randima Rukshan Rodrigo: Corumba Gray Granite/gold leafing, base bronze, basalt

Colored Vase, 2013
Colored Vase, 2013

Kylee Locke

Maidens: Lilith
Maidens: Lilith

Jessica Lee-Ann Hamilton: Flumo ceramic casting slip, Acrylic paint, kanekalon synthetic hair fibers

Pattern of all Patience, 2013
Pattern of all Patience, 2013

Mara J Bonsaint: Hand-woven, hand dyed and hand spun BFL, Merino wools, bamboo, cashmere, cotton, human hair, mohair, silk

My One Love Suite 1–6
My One Love Suite 1–6

Emily Puleio: Screen Print

Ryan Talbot
Ryan Talbot
Raw Beginning, 2013
Raw Beginning, 2013

Seth Politi: Woodblock Print

Saint John, 2013
Saint John, 2013

Payden Maddocks-Wilbur: Relief Print on Paper

Tirza Clark
Tirza Clark
A Warrior’s Way, 2012
A Warrior’s Way, 2012

Mariah Mills: Photoshop and Intvos 3 Tablet

Untitled #1, 2013
Untitled #1, 2013

Hilary Kane: Wood and Tar

Memory Sparks, 2013
Memory Sparks, 2013

Sarah Frick, Digital Photography

Alumna Named President of UMaine Pulp & Paper Foundation

University of Maine alumna Carrie Enos has been named president of the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation.

She replaces Jack Healy, who has held the position since 2007 and is retiring this spring.

Enos graduated from UMaine in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She has worked in the paper industry since 1997, most recently in the position of finished products business unit manager at the Verso Paper Mill in Bucksport. Enos has also been employed at International Paper in Jay (now Verso Paper), Sappi Fine Paper in Skowhegan and Eastern Fine Paper (now Lincoln Paper and Tissue) in Lincoln.

“After an extensive national search, we are pleased to have someone of Carrie’s background and caliber to lead our organization,” says John Donahue, chair of the Pulp & Paper Foundation’s Executive Committee. “She will do an outstanding job of executing our strategic plan, working with our partners and donors, and assisting and guiding scholarship students.”

Enos and her family live in Bangor. She will begin her new role in mid-January.

Incorporated in 1950, the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation manages the Consider Engineering Program, and supports 87 scholarships at both full tuition and other levels to encourage UMaine engineering students to consider a career in the pulp and paper industry.

2014 Camden Conference, UMaine Course to Focus on Global Politics of Food, Water

“The Global Politics of Food and Water” will be the theme of the 2014 Camden Conference and accompanying course offered by the University of Maine’s Division of Lifelong Learning.

The 27th annual Camden Conference will take place Feb. 21–23 in Camden and will also be part of a three-credit UMaine course with classes on Saturday, Jan. 25, March 22 and April 12.

The conference and course will explore water and food security topics from many perspectives around the world as they relate to human life, global climate change and relationships between countries.

The course will be taught by UMaine faculty G. Paul Holman, Libra Professor of International Affairs; Timothy Cole, an associate professor of political science and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Capt. James Settele, director of the School of Policy and International Affairs. Guest lecturers will also be featured.

To receive credit, students in the course must attend all three sessions and the three-day conference in Camden or at satellite broadcast venues at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast or the Strand Theatre in Rockland.

Frederick Kirschenmann, a distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and president of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., will be the conference’s keynote speaker. Andreas Merkl, president and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, will be the featured speaker.

The Camden Conference was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization that aims to foster education and discussion on world issues.

More information about the 2014 Camden Conference is available online. More information about the accompanying UMaine course is available by calling Marlene Charron at 207.581.4095 or visiting the Division of Lifelong Learning’s website.

UMaine Community Charitable Projects to Benefit the Less Fortunate

People in the giving spirit at the University of Maine have been making the holidays brighter for others.

The UMaine Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism, Greek Life, athletic groups and student organizations have all spearheaded charitable efforts this season.

The Bodwell Center has been a driving force for the Holiday Sharing Program and FIGI Christmas since 2004. In collaboration with Greek Life, the center collects holiday gifts for Crossroads Ministries, where families from the greater Old Town and Orono areas select presents for their children from among the donated gifts.

People may donate gifts through Dec. 6 at the Bodwell Center on campus or to Crossroads Ministries in Old Town.

Bodwell Center volunteers also participated in an American Red Cross blood drive and the fourth annual GobbleFest. At the Nov. 13–14 blood drive at the New Balance Student Recreation Center, donors gave 174 units of blood and about a dozen double red cell donations. The American Red Cross and UMaine Office of Student Life sponsored the drive.

GobbleFest was a combined effort of the Bodwell Center and Old Town-Orono YMCA. Nov. 17 at the YMCA, UMaine students collected turkeys and cash donations so Crossroads Ministries could provide Thanksgiving dinners for families in need. The Bodwell Center continued to collect turkeys and cash donations through Nov. 22.

Crossroad Ministries also will benefit from a food drive sponsored by UMaine Printing and Mailing Services. Campus mail carriers are accepting nonperishable food donations as part of the drive, and drop boxes are located in Keyo Building. The food donations will be accepted through Dec. 16.

Male Athletes Against Violence and HerCampus sponsored a Cans For Those Who Can’t event Nov. 23. That night, people who donated canned goods for Strong Mind-Strong Body Inc.’s Thanksgiving food drive were admitted free to the Bear Brew Pub in Orono.

The University of Maine Sports Medicine Team and the University of Maine Student-Athlete Advisory Committee collected nonperishable food at UMaine football, women’s basketball and men’s ice hockey games. The donated canned goods were given to The Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord Food Pantry, which serves those in need in the greater Bangor, Orono and Old Town communities. Donations continued to be accepted through Nov. 22 at the Mike Kessock Sports Medicine Center in Memorial Gym.

Kappa Sigma sold donated coats for $5 each at its second annual Coats for the Cold on Nov. 15–16. HerCampus UMaine, an online publication, held a bake sale in conjunction with the coat sale. All the combined proceeds went to Fisher House Foundation, which has homes near military and VA medical centers. When servicemen and women are hospitalized due to combat injuries and sickness, their loved ones can stay at the houses.

Alpha Delta held a food and clothing drive Nov. 11–22 in Memorial Union and gave all donated items to Hope House, a homeless shelter in Bangor.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine’s Clinical Psychology Program Cited Among Nation’s Best

The University of Maine’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program was recently ranked as one of the best clinical psychology programs nationwide in a journal article based on a University of North Texas study.

The program was identified as performing exceptionally well in the article “Hidden gems among clinical psychology training programs” describing a recently published study in the American Psychological Association (APA) journal Training and Education in Professional Psychology.

The purpose of the study was to use public data sources to identify programs that excel at graduate training in professional psychology as evidenced by two emerging professional benchmarks — internship matching rate and Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) pass rate.

UMaine’s program was ranked ninth out of 233 accredited clinical psychology doctoral programs in the category that combined both benchmarks.

The aim of the study was to identify programs that provide exceptional training by determining which programs are doing better than would be predicted based on the incoming characteristics of the students who are typically admitted. Those characteristics include the average Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of the programs’ incoming students.

UMaine’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program prepares students for a doctorate in psychology and for careers that combine research and practice.

Since 1990, the clinical program has graduated 85 Ph.D. students. Twenty-one of those graduates now have careers in Maine and “have had clear impacts on the state’s mental health policies and direct care provision,” according to Douglas Nangle, a professor and director of the clinical training program at UMaine.

As just a few examples, program alumni have brought state-of-the art neuropsychological services to the Bangor area and innovative behavioral health consultation services for patients treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. They have also affected the way juveniles are treated in the state corrections system and helped bring evidence-based treatments to sexual offenders across the state.

The president-elect of the Maine Psychological Association is also a graduate of the program and has consulted on related issues for the legislature.

There are currently 22 students in the program.

The journal article was published Oct. 14, 2013 and was written by Jennifer L. Callahan, an associate professor and a director of clinical training at the University of North Texas; Camilo J. Ruggero, an assistant professor at the University of North Texas; and Mike C. Parent, a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at the University of Florida.

Contact: Elyse Kahl, 207.581.3777

Killam Fellowship Webinar Slated Nov. 21

The University of Maine’s Canadian-American Center and the Office of International Programs are co-hosting a Fulbright Canada webinar to provide UMaine faculty, undergraduate academic advisers and undergraduate students with information about the Killam Fellowships Program.

The webinar will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 in the Bumps Room of the Memorial Union. Registration is not required.

The Killam Fellowship Program offers $5,000 for students to study abroad at any Canadian university for a semester. The scholarships are open to undergraduate students in any major. Students can study in English at one of the many Canadian universities or at a French-speaking university in Quebec for a language-immersion program.

The webinar will be co-hosted by Betsy Arntzen, education outreach coordinator in the Canadian-American Center, and Orlina Boteva, assistant director of Study Abroad in the Office of International Programs.

For more information and to request disability accommodations, contact Boteva at 207.581.1509 or

UMaine has worked with the Killam Fellowship since 2009 and is one of 13 university partners in the United States. A full list of university partners in Canada and the U.S. is available online.

Competition for the 2014–15 academic year is open, and applications must be submitted by Jan. 17, 2014. Contact Arntzen at 207.581.4225 or to apply. More information about the Killam Fellowships is available online.

10th Annual Gay Thanksgiving Potluck Slated for Nov. 21

The University of Maine Student Life LGBT Liaison Services will hold its 10th annual Gay Thanksgiving 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 in the Memorial Union.

The potluck dinner, which will be held in the North Pod, is held to support all people who may not be supported elsewhere and to provide a safe place to celebrate the holiday.

For more information, contact Chelsea Barker at 207.581.1439.

Winners Announced in Study Abroad Photo Contest

The University of Maine Office of International Programs announced winners of the Study Abroad Photo Contest. The contest is open to UMaine students who have studied abroad or are currently abroad and is usually offered every semester.

The contest started about eight years ago and for the past few years has been run on the UMaine Study Abroad Facebook page where anyone can view the photos and vote for their favorite image by “liking” it.

This year’s winners are:

The Office of International Programs awarded the winners with University Bookstore gift cards.

The winning photos can be seen online.


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