DMC hosts a talk on the changing Gulf of Maine ecosystem

Posted:  Sunday, July 9, 2017 - 8:45am
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On Friday, July 14, Dr. Jeffrey Runge will give a talk titled “Plankton, Right Whales, and Change in Gulf of Maine Ecosystem.”

The seminar will take place in Brooke Hall at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center beginning at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested at tinyurl.com/y87uxsmw.

The Gulf of Maine ecosystem rests at the southern edge of the vast subarctic biome that stretches across the North Atlantic to the Barents Sea above Norway. The subarctic character and biomass of the Gulf of Maine plankton support the northern right whale population as well as the region’s distinctive fish and seabird communities. Ocean currents in the northwest Atlantic and in the Gulf of Maine work to sustain these subarctic properties.

Recent changes in the timing and abundance of zooplankton coincide with changes in right whale sightings, including a decline in number since 2010. In his talk, Dr. Runge will explore scenarios of future changes to the plankton in the wake of recent warming and ocean acidification.

Runge is a faculty member at UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences and a research scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. His current research examines the ecosystem’s response to changes in zooplankton production, including larvae of commercially harvested fish and invertebrates, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the Gulf of Maine. Runge is interested in the linkages between climate, ocean ecosystem productivity, and recruitment into the fisheries.

This talk is part of DMC’s summer science seminar series, where renowned scientists in the field of marine biology engage the public in topics ranging from the studies of the Gulf of Maine to the exploration of the deep sea. The full list of speakers is posted at dmc.umaine.edu. For a disability accommodation, please call 207.563.3146.

Located in Walpole, the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center is an active center of marine research, education, and community engagement. DMC scientists and students study coastal and marine ecosystems, as well as the human communities that are a part of them, in Maine and around the world.