Faculty Spotlight

images of the 2022 nsf career awardees

Spotlight: UMaine’s 2022 NSF Career Award Recipients

The year 2022 marked a first for UMaine, as five faculty members were selected in the same year for the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, a premier early career funding mechanism, which is intended to support enduring success in scholarship, teaching, and public service. The National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, is considered […]

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Brian Beal seeding clams

Brian Beal: Supporting the local economy through research

Professor of Marine Ecology Brian Beal has been a leader of marine research throughout the state of Maine and the University of Maine community for over 30 years. Growing up in Jonesport, Beal developed a deep connection with the sea that has fueled a lifelong interest in marine science. In the mid-1980s as local fishermen […]

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Andrés Urcuqui-Bustamente Headshot

Urcuqui-Bustamante strives to reduce tick-borne diseases through landscape management

Andrés Urcuqui-Bustamante, postdoctoral fellow in the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine, is working to address one of the greatest challenges that our state faces: ticks and tick-borne diseases.  His work integrates data from forest ecology, social science and medical entomology to identify landscape management solutions that could reduce tick-borne diseases like […]

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Laura Jackson Headshot

ARCSIM’s Laura Jackson named NSF ACCESS Campus Champion

Laura Jackson has been named an Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Coordination Ecosystem: Services & Support (ACCESS) Campus Champion.  The ACCESS program is a virtual collaboration funded by the National Science Foundation that facilitates free, customized access to advanced digital resources, consulting, training and mentorship. ACCESS helps the nation’s most creative minds discover breakthroughs and solutions for some […]

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Headshot of Kelly Cole

UMaine MARINE welcomes Kelly Cole as coordinator

Kelly Cole, UMaine assistant research professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named Coordinator of UMaine’s Marine Aligned Research, Innovation, and Nationally-recognized Education (MARINE) initiative.  Founded in early 2021, the UMaine MARINE initiative pulls together researchers from across the state to engage in innovative and interdisciplinary research, education and outreach related to the marine […]

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Headshot of Pete Avis

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 […]

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Profile headshot of Melanie Prentice

Prentice studies the role of genetics in disease outbreaks among wild animal populations

Melanie Prentice, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maine’s Kamath Laboratory, came to UMaine to study the resistance and susceptibility of host species to pathogens. Her research interests center around landscape genetics and genomics. In her research she integrates large spatiotemporal, ecological and genetic datasets to address questions concerning the demographic and evolutionary […]

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Flags of Russia and the Ukraine

Settele discusses strategy and tactics in the Russia-Ukraine War

In this first article of a three-part series, we ask researchers and experts at the University of Maine to weigh in on the conflict unfolding in Ukraine.  Just a few days before the announcement of the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech claiming territorial rights over Ukraine. He gave viewers an […]

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portrait of Jose Colon Quintana

José Luis Colón Quintana: Researching large-scale additive manufacturing

José Luis Colón Quintana has a passion for life. Born and raised in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, he has traveled extensively, recording much of it on his vlog. You might also find him flying drones or picking up new musical instruments to learn. His excitement for discovering and learning new things led him to the University […]

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portrait and graphic of ali abedi

Abedi elected Vice President of IEEE’s Council on Radio Frequency Identification

Ali Abedi, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Associate Vice President for Research has been elected as the next Vice President of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Council on Radio Frequency Identification (CRFID) for 2022-2023 term. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE, is the largest technical professional organization in […]

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Photo of Vinzani workin with students

Vinzani makes an impression, at UMM and far beyond

Bernie Vinzani’s love of teaching the art of printmaking began when he delivered a hands-on lesson to his peers in an undergraduate speech class at Indiana State University. He demonstrated how to make a print using a piece of cardboard and a potato. Now, Vinzani is a professor of art and book arts at the […]

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Image of world flags

UMaine researcher studies conflict and violent extremism around the world

Bill Farrell looks at the dynamics of conflict and violent extremism. He has conducted field research in countries across Central Asia, the Caucasus region, and Africa. He has met with government officials, community leaders, stakeholders, and an array of people who have had family members and friends mobilize to violent extremism. Farrell is an assistant […]

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Landazuri portrait

Landazuri helps translate the first recorded accounts of El Niño

Examining history can reveal some of the same problems faced today, along with how to cope with them. On the northern coast of Peru, a hot spot for El Niño events, Andean indigenous groups adapted for thousands of years through methods like cycling farming to higher ground. Some of these agricultural methods were previously revealed […]

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picture of an iceberg

Schild examines impact of icebergs on ocean circulation, climate, coastal communities

Kristin Schild, a physical glaciologist at the University of Maine, broadly studies interactions between ice and the ocean. Her research has taken her all over the world, including to Greenland and Patagonia, at the southern tip of South America. Schild became interested in glaciology through physics. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology, with physics […]

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Image of Sue Ishaq.

Ishaq links gut health to social equity, advocates for policy discussion

Gut microbial communities are found throughout the digestive tract of all humans, animals and insects. As a human host to these living microbes, our diets, lifestyles and environmental factors recruit different microbes into our gut and retain them, or make circumstances hospitable.  The lack of consistent access to fresh and nutrient-dense foods can compound unhealthy […]

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oyster farm in the Damariscotta River image

UMaine aquaculture researcher receives funding for COVID-19 relief project

University of Maine aquaculture researcher Meggan Dwyer, one of 10 winners in October’s Maine Sea Grant’s Buoy Maine competition, received $14,000 for her project titled “Can It, Maine! Adding Value and Resilience to Maine’s Shellfish Seafood Sector.” The Buoy Maine competition was developed to strengthen coastal/marine seafood and tourism-related industries, as well as redefining these […]

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Justin Wolff: Presenting art as a common experience

Justin Wolff is a professor of art history at the University of Maine. He teaches courses on modern, contemporary, and American art as well as art theory and criticism. His research focuses on 19th and 20th-century American art and culture. Wolff’s new book titled “Rufus Porter’s Curious World: Art and Invention in America 1815-1860” was […]

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Tora Johnson

Mapping out a more flood resilient future

University of Maine at Machias researcher finds solutions for community challenges. Tora Johnson, associate professor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at the University of Maine at Machias, conducts research and teaches in the small town of Machias. She also chairs the Environmental and Biological Sciences Division and directs the GIS Service Center. A social scientist […]

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Christine Beitl on boat in Ecuador

Beitl studies social networks in rural Ecuador

Christine Beitl studied the management system of a fishery in a rural coastal community, Isla Costa Rica, in Ecuador as a doctoral student in 2009-10. A new collaborative, cross-cultural study prompted her return to the small town this summer – 10 years later. The three-year NSF ENDOW (Economic Network Dynamics and the Origins of Wealth) […]

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Dan Sandweiss and Emily Blackwood at the Ostra Collecting Site in Peru.

Sandweiss, team in Peru study possible evidence of ancient human warfare

Nestled on the Peruvian coast, the Ostra Collecting Station (OCS) is part of a complex of archeological sites that provide an amazing glimpse into the lives of the people who lived there approximately 6,000 years ago. OCS is cradled between the shores of the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range. Odd shells and fish […]

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Aaron Joy

Joy’s research focuses on finding solutions to complex mathematical problems

Mathematical tools used to create items such as vacuums, cars and skyscrapers, make the design process streamlined, less expensive and safer. However, with advances in modern science increasingly pushing boundaries, these tools need to be adapted in order to keep up – and avoid potentially costly mistakes. The finite element method is a commonly used […]

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Judy walker and students in lab

Cutting-edge speech therapy for rural populations fills need around the world

Judy Walker travels to a lot of places during a typical day: several spots in Maine, Canada and even Fiji. All without leaving her lab. Walker is an associate professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders and coordinator of the University of Maine Speech Therapy Telepractice Program. She oversees services provided by students and faculty to […]

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Students work in Maginnis Lab

Maginnis Lab supports student research through academic careers

Maginnis Lab supports student research from undergraduate through graduate careers More undergraduate students at the University of Maine have the opportunity to take part in innovative research. This experience carries through into their graduate studies and careers. The Maginnis Lab has students who started their research as first-years and continue it as graduate students. Melissa […]

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Klimis-Zacas and Stefano Vendrame in lab

Wild blueberry study publishes unique findings in wound healing

Researchers discover an interesting source of improved wound healing: the wild blueberry. Wild Blueberries are rich in compounds that beneficially affect human health. Two classes of these compounds are anthocyanins and phenolic acids – which have been documented to have beneficial impacts on chronic diseases. Dorothy Klimis-Zacas, professor of clinical nutrition and Panagiotis Tsakiroglou, who […]

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Susan Smith at the IMRC

Faculty Profile: Susan Smith explains how research resonates through art

Q&A with Susan Smith, assistant director of the Intermedia Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program You are a graduate of the Intermedia MFA program here at UMaine. How does this help you connect with and understand the students’ challenges? My years of graduate studies expanded my view of the world and how I interact with […]

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The NIH toolbox on a tablet

As Maine’s older adult population grows, research on aging is crucial

Maine’s population is the oldest in the nation, and 11 percent of Mainers live at or below the federal poverty level. These factors make Maine an ideal and critical location to study aging. Rebecca MacAulay, assistant professor of psychology, studies tools and technology used to understand brain health in older adults in her Cognition Aging […]

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Emily Haigh and Colin Bosma

Older adults could hold the key to unlocking the ability to regulate sad mood

As people age, it is common to see a degree of decreased physical and cognitive abilities. One ability that improves with age: managing negative emotions. According to Emily Haigh, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Maine, studies show older adults have an enhanced ability to manage their emotions as they age. She […]

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Karyn Sporer explains how to code tweets

Sporer uses Twitter to research criminological behavior online

Not all research takes place in a lab with petri dishes and microscopes … Karyn Sporer uses Twitter to investigate criminological theory In the modern era of social media, more than 300 million people use Twitter to share news and engage in online conversations. This provides a glimpse into the minds of a diverse public […]

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Wireless Leak Detector display

Celebrating UMaine’s First NASA Payload: Wireless Leak Detector Now on Display

Impacting Space Travel – And More In December 2016, the University of Maine’s WiSe-Net laboratory sent technology to the International Space Station (ISS), a device developed by Dr. Ali Abedi, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Vincent Caccese, professor of Mechanical Engineering and a team of student researchers. The Wireless Leak Detector (WLD) technology […]

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