Researcher of the Week: Kate Coupland

Kate Coupland is a graduate researcher in her fourth year of PhD work at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole, ME. In collaboration with her graduate studies, Coupland works as a SEANET Research Fellow in Theme 1: Carrying Capacity. Coupland’s research interests include the chemistry of Maine estuaries, ocean acidification and carbonate chemistry, primary production and respiration in coastal waters, oyster aquaculture, and changing environmental impact.

“My work focuses on […] gain[ing] a better sense of what conditions are favorable to oyster aquaculture,” Coupland explains. “And determin[ing] the biological carrying capacity of the ecosystem for oyster aquaculture.”

Beyond her research, Coupland does significant outreach and mentor work. Currently, Coupland manages six undergraduate interns in the Brady Lab at the DMC.

“[Mentoring] is great and I’m really happy with them,” Coupland says. “This summer I am focused on making sure they are learning and having fun and getting a good experience.”

Coupland also hosts students of various grade levels at the DMC, giving them firsthand experience with the science taking place at the Damariscotta River.

This work keeps her busy during the summers, but when the fall comes around, Coupland’s focus will turn to her dissertation on the nutrient capacity of the Damariscotta River and subsequent capacity for oyster aquaculture.

When Coupland is outside of the lab, you can find her hiking, sailboat racing, snowboarding, skiing, takings photos, or baking.

“I love being outdoors as much as possible and enjoy the fieldwork aspect of my research a lot,” Coupland enthuses.