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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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SEMINAR – Got fish? Reflections on scientists’ roles in sustaining small-scale marine fisheries

September 21, 2015 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

SPEAKER: Heather Leslie, Director, Darling Marine Center and Libra Associate Professor, School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine

*See below a list of suggested readings to accompany this seminar.

Sustaining marine fisheries has often been approached as a technical challenge. The thinking is that more and better knowledge of ecosystem and economic dynamics, and the behavior of fish and fishermen, can get us closer to sustaining fisheries and the people who are part of these complex systems. However, experience from sustainability projects on both land and in the sea suggests that how knowledge is generated and shared can be just as important as how much is known. Drawing on my experience investigating the social-ecological systems associated with small-scale fisheries in Mexico’s Gulf of California, I will reflect on the opportunities and challenges for engaged research on the Maine coast.

Heather Leslie is an international leader in marine conservation science who conducts research on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems. Heather is Director of the Ira C. Darling Marine Center for Research, Teaching, and Service at the University of Maine and a Libra Associate Professor of Marine Sciences in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences.

She is interested in understanding the drivers of ecological and social processes in marine systems, and how to more effectively connect science to marine policy and management. Specific research areas include coastal marine ecology; human-environment linkages, particularly those related to coastal areas; and the design and evaluation of marine management strategies. Leslie’s work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and has been covered by The New York Times and the Environmental News Service.

A member of the University of Maine faculty since August 2015, Heather Leslie received an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University, and conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University. Before arriving at UMaine, she was on the faculty at Brown University, as the inaugural Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor. She is a Leopold Leadership Fellow and originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Heather lives on the other side of the Damariscotta River from the Darling Center, in Newcastle, Maine, with her two children and husband, microbial ecologist Jeremy Rich.

Suggested Readings:

  • Ellis, Richard. The Empty Ocean: Plundering the World’s Marine Life. 2003. (375p) FPBC
  • Greenberg, Paul. American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood. 2015.
  • Safina, Carl. Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World’s Coasts and Beneath the Seas. 2011.

FPBC=Fields Pond Book Club List


September 21, 2015
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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Mitchell Center
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