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Oceans' Tiniest Secrets

Sea State Lectures
7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Our continuing free public Joan M. Kelly Sea State lecture series is a unique educational opportunity, bringing world-renowned experts from our region and beyond to GMRI for one evening each month. Past topics have included right whales, bluefin tuna, climate change, and the future of the cod fishery in New England. We hope you will join us as we continue exploring the diversity of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem with this season's topic, "Amazing Algae."

Planktonic ecosystems contain a phenomenal display of diverse life forms, all supported by microscopic unicellular algae called phytoplankton.  Phytoplankton come in many flavors of cell sizes, shapes and behaviors, and control production and element cycling on global scales. Although not visible to the naked eye, their distribution patterns can be monitored from space.  Yet, environmental controls on community composition of phytoplankton and consequently the structure and function of planktonic ecosystems and their responses to climate change, are not well understood.  In a 3-year journey across the globe’s oceans (including a circumpolar navigation of the Arctic ocean), scientists on board the schooner Tara have collected unique information on the biodiversity and biogeography of planktonic ecosystems.  Fortunate to take part in this journey, Lee Karp-Boss, Associate Professor, University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences, will describe features of this unique expedition and partnership between scientists, private foundations and artists, as well as present some of their early findings.

Seating is limited. Please register below, or contact Sarah Longley at or (207) 228-1699 with any questions.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the lecture will begin at 7:00. Free parking is available.



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