Chen, Wahle to participate in conversation about warming Gulf of Maine, effects on marine economy

A University of Maine fisheries scientist and the director of the Lobster Institute at UMaine will participate in the second webinar of the Bangor Daily News Climate Conversation series at 4 p.m. Sept. 17. 

“BDN Climate Conversations: A Warming Gulf of Maine and our Marine Economy,” will feature a panel of experts that include Yong Chen, a professor of fisheries population dynamics, and Richard “Rick” Wahle, the Clare S. Darling Professor of Marine Sciences and Lobster Institute director. 

Both UMaine professors will join Kathy Mills, research scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Bill Mook, founder of Mook Sea Farm in Walpole, in discussing the warming of the Gulf of Maine and how it affects the marine economy. Temperatures in the gulf have risen three times faster than the global average over the past three decades, and they are warming more rapidly than 99% of water bodies worldwide. 

Chen’s research focuses on quantitative fisheries ecology and stock assessment and management, studying how harvesting and the environment may affect fish populations. His work incorporates fisheries biology, ecology, mathematical and statistical modeling, and computer simulation to develop models for fisheries stock assessments for a wide range of invertebrate and vertebrate species. 

Wahle explores the influences of the ocean’s physical and biotic environment on the population dynamics and distribution of marine benthic organisms. The Lobster Institute he directs promotes, conducts and communicates research about the sustainability of the American lobster fishery in the U.S. and Canada.

Registration can be done on the event webpage. The conversation will be the second in the four-part BDN Climate Conversations series.