Science on tap: urchins, crabs and kelp in the Gulf of Maine

The University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC) will host the Science on Tap Seminar series at the Newcastle Publick House on Wednesday evenings, from 6–7 p.m.

The first Science On Tap Seminar will be presented by Dr. Bob Steneck on July 8. Where green sea urchins once roamed over a pavement of crustose coralline algae, Jonah crabs now rule supreme in dense kelp forests. When and how this change occurred will be the topic of Steneck’s seminar titled “Some lasting effects of fisheries on Maine’s hidden kelp forests.”

Steneck is a Professor of Oceanography, Marine Biology and Marine Policy in the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences and based at the DMC. He is a world-renowned ecologist whose research focuses on the structure, function and health of coastal marine ecosystems from the frigid waters of the Gulf of Maine and the Bering Sea to the tropical coral reefs of the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific Ocean. Steneck is a resident of Whitefield.

The Science On Tap Seminar series continues through July with more great talks by UMaine/DMC scientists. Future talks will focus on the history of aquaculture in the Damariscotta River, robotic explorations of the ocean, and novel marine biological studies going on at the Darling Marine Center.

The DMC is also offering Wednesday Walking Tours of its waterfront facility through Aug. 19. Tours begin at 10:30 a.m. and last about 90 minutes.

On Aug. the DMC will host an Open House from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

The Darling Marine Center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, is the marine laboratory of the University of Maine. It is located on the Damariscotta River Estuary in Maine’s midcoast region, 100 miles south of the Orono campus. Resident faculty and students are associated with UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences. Their research interests range from biogeochemistry, remote sensing and ocean optics to invertebrate taxonomy and ecology, deep-sea biology, phytoplankton physiology and marine archaeology.

Additional information on all these events, as well as Darling Marine Center history, can be found on the DMC’s website