Location: Bowdoin / Environmental Studies / Activity / 2014 / Interested in Marine Sciences? Brown Univ. Professor to speak on Marine Science Semester and Research in the Gulf of Maine

Environmental Studies

Interested in Marine Sciences? Brown Professor to speak on Marine Science Semester and Research in the Gulf of Maine

Story posted September 23, 2014

Event date(s): December 01, 2010 — December 01, 2010

Jon Witman is professor of Biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Brown University. Having spent a lifetime studying and researching marine ecology around the world – and more specifically in six out of the planet’s seven oceans – Professor Witman is passionate about developing and promoting marine conservation science.

He received a B.A, M.S and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire. Witman has taught at Northeastern University, where he helped develop the Three Seas Marine Biology Program. He has also worked as a collaborating scientist at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Galapagos Islands. His research interests primarily include the effects of large-scale processes on local communities, benthic-pelagic coupling, biodiversity and supply-sided and trophic ecology. Currently, his lab is conducting research focused around three themes: 1) physical forcing of marine benthic ecosystems, 2) studies on the origin vs. the maintenance of pattern, and 3) marine biodiversity. How community structuring processes vary with scale is a consideration that pervades all aspects of the lab’s research.

Professor Witman will be delivering a lecture on Thursday, September 25th, 4:00-5:00 pm in Druck 20 on the development of marine communities in the era of climate change.

On Friday, September 26th, 12:00-1:00 pm Jon Witman will join students and faculty for an informal lunch and a short video about Cashes Ledge in the Gulf of Maine-- one of the most dynamic hotspots of biodiversity in New England and the entire North Atlantic, an area where he conducts research and collaborates on conservation efforts. Professor Witman will also share his insight into field-study based marine science programs – an area particularly relevant to Bowdoin as it prepares to launch the new Marine Science Semester program next fall. The event will be held in the ES Common Room on the first floor of Adams Hall.


"(Cashes Ledge is) a biodiversity hotspot in the Gulf of Maine. There is no place like it. Even though it's unique it's quite vulnerable. It has some protection, but that protection is only temporary and can be removed at any time. I've studied the whole ecosystem for 30 years. The biggest change I've seen on Cashes is due to overfishing- without a doubt. I've actually witnessed the drastic reduction of Cod in my lifetime." Jon Witman, 'Take a 5-minute dive on Cashes Ledge'