Pete Avis appointed as new UMaine CORE Director

Pete Avis, UMaine cooperating professor in the School of Biology and Ecology, has been named the Director of Coordinated Operating Research Entities (CORE)

The CORE unit’s mission is to serve as UMaine’s central repository for major research equipment and facilities, for the purpose of advancing research and development, enabling internal and external users to have easy access to state-of-the-art technology and services delivered by experts on a fee-for-service basis.

Avis joined UMaine in January 2021 as a cooperating professor before taking on an additional role as the Undergraduate Education Coordinator for Maine-eDNA in July. In 2003, he earned his doctorate in plant and fungal biology at the University of Minnesota. His research interests include fungal biology, ecology, biogeography and evolution, with a special focus on finding ways to identify fungi with DNA based methods. He pioneered some of the methods for faster and larger scale fragment analysis prior to the advent of accessible high throughput next generation sequencing

In 2009, Avis was involved in the first study to comprehensively describe important fungal communities in oak savannas in the midwest, and his work continues today with MiSeq sequencing studies underway throughout a wide range of ecosystems including those of Maine forests and islands

“I’m very excited to be a part of CORE because it has so much to offer the University of Maine, the state of Maine and beyond! It is an incredible group of people and facilities that can make massive impacts on many levels,” says Avis. “I’m looking forward to building on the growth that CORE has experienced over the last five years and to make it one of the finest constellations of research facilities in the country.”

Avis replaces outgoing director David Evanoff, who joined UMaine in 2020. Evanoff helped expand CORE’s services, facilitating success in research and development across campus and beyond.

As UMaine’s central repository for major research equipment, CORE is able to provide a variety of services that range from biological applications to logistics support.

The unit supports facilities and laboratories across campus, including the Electron Microscopy Laboratory (EML), the Innovative Media Research & Commercialization (IMRC) Center, Microfabrication Cleanroom, Environmental DNA Services and DNA Sequencing Center.