Brian Beal

Professor of Marine Biology

Education

Ph.D., University of Maine
M.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
B.S., University of Maine at Machias

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1314
Email: bbeal@maine.edu
Location: Science 002A

Areas of Expertise

Brian is a marine benthic (bottom) ecologist who graduated from UMM in 1979, and then went on to get a M.S. degree in Marine Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. He began work at UMM in May 1985 as an Environmental Education Project Assistant and the next year became UMM’s first Environmental Resources Coordinator. In 1993, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Maine at Orono in Marine BioResources. For the past thirty years, Brian has taught courses half time and conducted applied research half time. His courses relate directly to the research he conducts on the ecology and culture of commercially-important shellfish: Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marine Ecology, Introduction to Statistics, Applied Statistics, and Experimental Design and Analysis for Biologists. He helped to develop the only fisherman-sponsored lobster hatchery for public stock enhancement programs in Maine in the coastal town of Cutler that operated from 1986 to 1992, and he was instrumental in helping to establish in 1987 the Beals Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery, a university-supported program to produce cultured soft-shell clam juveniles for stock enhancement in Maine’s coastal communities that manage their clam stocks. In 2000, the Regional Hatchery became known as the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education (DEI), and in 2003 moved 3.5 miles from its home of 16 years at Perio Point on Moosabec Reach on Beals Island to Black Duck Cove on the Western Bay on Great Wass Island. DEI now serves as UMM’s Marine Science Field Station and supports activities of undergraduates in the three science programs at UMM affording them summer and intern opportunities where they can be involved in rearing shellfish or conducting research on a variety of coastal marine organisms. To see results of the applied research that Dr. Beal has conducted with students over the years, follow this link to the Downeast Institute’s Published Research page:

http://www.downeastinstitute.org/published-research.htm


Ellen Hostert

Professor of Biology

Education

Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz
M.A., University of Northern Iowa
B.A., Cornell College

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1301
Email: ehostert@maine.edu
Location: Science 123

Areas of Expertise

Research Interest: I am a population geneticist, so I use the tools of genetics to address questions in evolutionary biology. My research examines genetic variation in natural populations of animals. My current project examines variation in an immune system gene in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). We amplify our gene of interest with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We look for alternate forms of the gene (alleles) by running our PCR reactions on gels using the single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) technique. SSCP gives us a way to “see” alleles that differ by as little as one base. When we find a new allele, we clone it and sequence it.

Previous Student Project: Molecular Analysis of Coyotes in Maine: Evidence for Hybridization with Wolves?

Favorite organism: Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly.


Tora Johnson

Associate Professor of Geographic Information Systems
Director of the GIS Service Center

Education

M.Phil., College of the Atlantic
B.S., University of Oregon
PhD, University of Maine
U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner License

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1214
Email: tjohnson@maine.edu
Location: Torrey 223

Areas of Expertise

Since 1996, she has taught marine, environmental, and geographic information systems (GIS) at the college level. She teaches GIS and environmental studies at UMM and serves as the director of the GIS Laboratory and Service Center. Before her son was born in 1996, Tora made a career of teaching and crewing aboard several of the large sailing vessels that ply the coast of New England, as well as commercial fishing in Alaska.

Tora’s current human ecological research focuses on political conflicts over marine and coastal resources and the uses of maps in decision-making. Tora & GPS students map Passamaquoddy petroglyphs. In service projects through the UMM GIS Service Center, Tora and her students work with local towns, organizations and businesses to conserve Downeast Maine’s natural resources and plan for a prosperous and sustainable future. Tora was the principal investigator for a statewide GIS education initiative in GIS education involving nine colleges and universities. She has also collaborated with installation artists and sculptors on community-based and place-based installation art projects.

Also a writer, Tora’s award-winning book, Entanglements: The Intertwined Fates of Whales and Fishermen, was released in 2005. She was the marine reporter for the Martha’s Vineyard Times from 1998 to 2000. In addition to columns and feature articles for magazines and newspapers, she has published the Guide to Freshwater Animals without Backbones (with Arlene De Strulle; The Catskill Center, 1997).


Eric Jones

Assistant Professor of Plant Biology

Education

Ph.D., Florida State University
B.S., Florida State University
A.S., Tallahassee Community College

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1267
Email: eric.jones1@maine.edu
Location: Science 125

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Eric Jones graduated from Florida State University in 2012 with a Ph.D. in biological sciences. Dr. Jones studied plant mating system evolution in the genus Houstonia (Rubiaceae, the coffee family).  Eric’s interests are in biodiversity, the philosophy of science, and botany in the broad sense. His background in botany ranges from molecular biology to phylogenetics and development. Dr. Jones currently serves as the Assistant Professor of Botany at the University of Maine at Machias where he teaches courses in general biology, general botany, general ecology, plant systematics, plant ecology, and phylogenetic methods. Dr. Jones is also the curator of the UMM herbarium, which houses collections of vascular and non-vascular plants and marine macroalgae.


Gayle Kraus

Professor of Marine Ecology

Education

Ph.D. Zoology University of Rhode Island
M.S. Biology Hofstra
B.A. Biology Hofstra

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1261
Email: gkraus@maine.edu
Location: Science 15

Areas of Expertise

Dr. Kraus regularly teaches Marine Mammals and Pelagic Birds, Oceanography, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Ornithology, Skeletal Preparation, and General Ecology. She periodically adds Special Topics in Wildlife Rehabilitation to her teaching schedule. Gayle loves fieldwork and service learning which she incorporates into her classes. Gayle and her students have participated in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network for over a decade, assessing the status of numerous Harbor Seal pups, Grey Seal pups and juvenile Harp Seals, rescuing and performing triage on various seals and collecting basic data from a variety of dead whales, dolphins and seals. Skeletal Preparation developed as an outgrowth of this work. Gayle and her students have articulated a Minke Whale, a Pilot Whale, several seals and dolphins and even a tuna. As part of Ichthyology and other classes, Gayle and her students maintain numerous fresh and saltwater aquaria in the Science building. Recently they have started culturing corals. In Invertebrate Zoology, she and her students monitor local zooplankton communities. She has trained students in toxic algal monitoring and amphibian monitoring for over twenty years. She is a compiler for Audubon Christmas Bird Count and incorporates various censusing techniques in Ornithology. Gayle was a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator for over twenty years. She is returning to this work, specializing in young White-tailed deer and a few other local mammals at her home. In her spare time she and her students have built and maintain two labyrinth gardens on campus.


Jeremy Nettleton

Assistant Professor of Marine Biology

Education

Ph.D., M.S., University of New Hampshire
B.S., Iowa State University

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1206
Email: jeremy.nettleton@maine.edu
Location: Science 117

Areas of Expertise

Marine Biology


William Otto

Professor of Chemistry
Chair of the Environmental and Biological Sciences Division

Education

Ph.D., University of Kansas
B.A., MidAmerica Nazarene University

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1345
Email: william.otto@maine.edu
Location: Science 107

Areas of Expertise

Dr. William Otto is an analytical chemist by training, with a very strong focus on the environment. He is currently interested in environmental monitoring with a focus on the Downeast rivers that are home to the endangered Atlantic Salmon. He regularly incorporates chemical monitoring of the rivers and ocean in courses. His students have monitored pH of the rivers, demonstrating episodic acid rain events that may be impairing the survival of Atlantic Salmon.

Dr. Otto also has a very strong interest in energy. At UMM, he has guided several student projects that focused on energy. In 2004-2005 as part of an EPA P3 funded project, he worked with a student group identifying what green features would be feasibly incorporated into a new building at UMM. In 2007-2009, he worked with students in developing the greenhouse gas inventory for UMM. This was the focus of the project oriented Environmental Studies: Issues and Actions course that he taught.


Sherrie Sprangers

Professor of Biology

Education

Ph.D., Marquette University
B.S., University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1205
Email: ssprange@maine.edu
Location: Science 202

Areas of Expertise

Biology


Stuart Swain

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Education

Ph.D., University of Maine
M.A., University of Washington
B.A., Colby College

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1302
Email: stuart.swain@maine.edu
Location: Science 204B

Areas of Expertise

Stuart Swain has been a mathematics professor at UMM since 1987. He teaches across the math curriculum. Stuart enjoys working with students in all majors and with all kinds of math backgrounds. His teaching expertise is in guiding students to develop a deep conceptual understanding as the foundation for their mathematics success.

Stuart has served the University in a wide range of roles over the years, including as division chair, provost, and interim president. In his doctoral work he focused on the ways diversity education can best be infused across a student’s collegiate experience.


Melanie Tardiff

Lecturer of Mathematics

Education

B.S., University of Maine at Fort Kent
B.S., University of Maine at Machias

Contact Information

Phone: (207) 255-1358
Email: melanie.tardiff@maine.edu
Location: Science 213

Areas of Expertise

Mathematics


Part-time Instructors

Heather Heck

Assistant Professor of Biology

Louis McNally

Associate Professor of Meteorology

Cynthia Roberts

Instructor of Mathematics

David Winski

Instructor of Physics

Gerard Zegers

Associate Research Professor