Below is a very incomplete list of graduates that I have worked with, and as time allows I would like to move further back into some older graduates.  However, for now, this will just have to do.

Class of 2017.

This year I worked with a smaller group of students, all of them research based, Porcia Manandhar, Michelle Pazmino, and Alyssa Murad.  They were great senior projects and I hope to put links to them up sometime in the near future.  The bios of my two advisees in this group are listed here.

Class of 2016.

This year I worked with a fairly large group of students, and had several advisees graduate. The quick bios of the graduates are on the 2016 graduates page.  Below is a quick summary on all of them.


From Left to right: Madeline Motley, who finished a senior project on sea turtle biology, policy and conservation. Kira Marzoli, who combined photographs and writing for a personal reflective piece.  Katie Powell, whose oil paintings of natural objects, most recently succulents, are good enough for her to make a living out of it. Roshni Mangar, who student dolphin conservation and policy in Florida and Mauritius and the ecotourism industries there.  Natalia Zamboni Vergara, who has been studying midwifery in the U.S. and Guatemala and gave a great student perspective at graduation.  Chris (graduated a while ago). Olivia Bolus, who was doing a good enough impersonation of a pre-vet program to get into Tufs veterinary school. Ian Medeiros, who has been working on lichens since he walked in the door at COA and will be in grad school somewhere in a year. Marina Cucuzza, who has been studying acoustic methods in marine biology, most recently in her senior project to assess bottom type remotely in northern Alaska.  They are a wonderful group of folks, and I will be adding links to their senior projects here soon.

Class of 2015:


Casey Acklin

This group finished in June, 2015, and did some really interesting work. Their biographies while they were students are listed on the 2015 graduates page.
Casey Acklin did a double-edged senior project, working in a lab on genes important on Alzheimer’s and then spent time in Europe looking at care of patients with dementia. He is currently work at the Jackson Laboratory.


Shira Catlin

Shira Catlin got her teaching credential and worked with therapy dogs during her time at COA, all the while teaching a variety of exercise classes that gave her a place to express her awesome energy.

Paul Excoffier

Paul Excoffier has keyed out more bryophytes than he probably believed possible, and is working with Nishi Rajakaruna to publish his senior project on vernal pools.


Katie O’Brien

Katie O’Brien has a great mixture of international policy, biology, and ethnography and working with local fishermen that gives her one of the best skill sets of any student I have ever had. She is just a requirement or two short of finalizing her graduation.

Em website pic

Emily Peterson

Emily Peterson moved from field ecology to health care, and has spent time at our local hospital and interviewing seniors iCn our community, and put together a blog as part of her senior project.  Within two years she will be in some sort of health care professional program, probably physical therapy.Emily Peterson

 Class of 2014.

They are on the graduates page.  They are lonely, I need to add something here about them.

Class of 2013.  

I had two advisees graduate in 2013, Jane Nurse and Sam Rosen.  To find out about their senior projects, you can go directly to the 2013 graduates page.

Class of 2012. 


So, here I am with my advisees that graduated in 2012.   From left to right.


Michelle Klein. For her senior project Michelle worked with Sean Todd and Duke University Professor Doug Nowacek on Humpback whale sound patterns.  Michelle is currently a graduate student at Trent University.

Jordan Chalfant has been splitting her time between working for the US Fish and Wildlife l on Petit Manan Island doing seabird work, and then doing taxidermy work in the offseason.   For her senior project Jordan produced a diorama that included an otter, a beautiful backdrop picture, and a lot of painted rocks and leaves, and the interpretive information to go with it.

Passing by the elk,

Marina Garland got married in July in a beautiful ceremony in Vermont, with several COA faculty and a lot of students in attendance.  She spent some of the summer sailing around Newfoundland and the end fall sailing across the Pacific to Hawaii throught the Pacific garbage patch.  She is continuing to work on plastics in the ocean while Hank is doing GIS  work in Vermont.  Her senior project was a multi-faceted look at plastic pollution in the ocean, including a survey of microplastic abundance in the Gulf of Maine, a set of educational posters, and an annotated bibliography of the main references on the topic.  Marina is currently working for the Rozalia project.

Samuli Sinisalo is off somewhere I would bet working for the Social Democratic party of Finland.  For his senior project Samuli examined the European Economic Crisis, focusing on both Spain and Denmark as case studies.  His short senior project presentation to the Board of Trustees can be seen here.

Rachel Guttmacher finished her senior project and is currently out trying to rustle up some GIS gigs.  For her senior project Rachel did a created and organized a GIS Resource base for a group of land owners at Mount Riga, Connecticut. 

Class of 2011.

I’ve just finished working with a wonderful group of seniors.  If you want to learn a little more about them, you can read the profiles that they wrote as undergraduates here.   Here are some quick summaries of the students work. When senior projects aren’t available, it typically means we are working through confidentiality issues with sources or the research is being published by a scientists that doesn’t want the results up on the web.  It has nothing to do with the quality of the project.

Kate, Luka, Paul, Adrianna, Alex, Robin, Saras, Emily, and Yiftu. Evie was already off working so missed the photo op.

Two students I worked with found themselves on rivers.  Adrianna Beaudette paddled the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers in Texas source to sea, doing everything from water quality monitoring to writing schools and visiting students.  All during the coldest winter in Texas in quite awhile.  It is a great and beautiful read.  Meanwhile, Saras Yerlig went downeast to produce a river guide for the Machias river, a truly wild and open (and tough to paddle river) that varies between being too icy to quickly not having enough water for parts of the trip.  Saras combined a first-ever guide for the river with both human and natural history while paddling large chunks of the river this spring.  Both Adrianna and Saras have increased the accessibility and awareness of these beautiful rivers. They both worked with me and Ken Cline with Karen Waldron also chipping in.

Meanwhile, several of my students studied marine organisms, with a focus from individual species to entire communities.  Kate Ross synthesized five years of sea cucumber larval data that showed when these species spawned, how synchronized they were, and tested for various cues.  This species is being depleted by local harvesting, so understanding reproduction in this species is a relatively unknown aspect of its natural history that may become important in its management.  Alex Brett examined subtidal communities at two rocky subtidal sites, setting up long-term monitoring in Frenchman’s Bay where no species monitoring has existed. Over the summer Alex is making those sites permanent and is planning to add a third site.  Finally, Robin Van Dyke looked at parasites in two of the most common local species, periwinkles (a small snail) and mummichogs (a small estuarine fish).  In both species, she found that parasites varied in in abundance and sometimes in species identity over short geographic distances, at times being the difference between low and high tide. She also produced a guide for local parasites in the mummichog.  Helen Hess got Robin started looking at parasites and really managed the periwinkle part of the project.
Kate Ross Senior Project: Spawning Patterns of Maine’s Commercial Sea Cucumber, Cucumaria frondosa: Timing, Synchrony, and Potential Cues (pdf)
Alex Brett Senior Project: Subtidal ecology of Frenchman Bay (pdf)
Robin Van Dyke Senior Project: Distribution of Parasites in Littorina spp. and Fundulus heteroclitus (pdf)

Meanwhile, my advisee Luka Negoita worked with John Anderson and Nishi Rajakaruna to describe the flora and fauna of Little Duck Island.  Luka gets the record as longest SP this  year, and it is so big with its maps and principal component analyses that I’m not going to post it here, but would gladly send it along to anyone interested.  This island is currently under the control of Acadia  National Park, and has a very meager history of human disturbance, so it is an especially interesting inshore island.
Luka Negoita Senior Project: The Vascular Flora of Little Duck Island, Maine: An Ecological Survey (pdf) beware: a rather large file 13+megs

I also had two students focus on molecular biology projects.  Yiftu Wondimu worked at the Ragon Institute in Boston on how cells process foreign proteins as part of immune function as a step in understanding how to process an HIV vaccine with Dr. Sylvie LeGall, while Paul Smith finished his work with Dr. Kevin Flurkey at the Jackson Laboratory on a genetic region that affects ageing in mice, and worked towards identifying the genes that might be responsible for the increase in lifespan of mic.

Emily Postman brought together her ideas on environmental justice, labor, and the environmental movement to try to address the question of why two groups (organized labor and environmental groups) could have such common concerns but work together so seldom.  This work included a trip to the United Farm Workers (UFW) headquarters in Delano, and her interviews with both people from the UFW and the Sierra Club on how they got where they are and if there is a way to move forward. Emily worked with Karen Waldron and Ken Cline.

Evelyn Smith’s senior project was an analysis of her work with Robin Alden and the Penobscot East Resource Center on their community supported fisheries.  Evie helped run the shrimp CSF for two winters, and also helped manage the groundfish CSF, an experimental attempt to catch groundfish without trawls (tub-trawling, lots of hooks on a long line along the bottom) that had trouble catching fish.  Her SP is a great synthesis of the work, with recommendations on what can and can’t work in downeast Maine and how the CSF did and didn’t accomplish its goals.
Evelyn Smith Senior Project: Economic Innovations Downeast:Community Supported Fisheries in Hancock County, Maine (pdf 7.2mb)

Class of 2010. I had five advisees graduate or stand (all but one thing done) this year. This was a really solid and extremely nice group of students to work with, and I’ve really been proud of everything they have accomplished.  From left to right:

Emily, Mikus, Casie, Jason, and Sarah

Emily Argo. After internships at Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory here in Bar Harbor, Emily focused on the reproductive biology, population genetics, and conservation of dogfish sharks for her senior project.  She also examined the potential for the restoration of a local stream for anadromous fish as part of an advanced tutorial independent project (pdf). After she graduated in June Emily organized interns as part of sea turtle conservation work at Mote Marine Laboratory.  She then worked for two years with Dr. Eric Palkovacs, first at Duke University Marine Lab and then at UC Santa Cruz, where she analyzed the genetics of alewives from Maine, including some samples she collected herself. Emily is now working at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Oregon as a Education Project Assistant.

Mikus Abolins-Abols. Mikus was a Davis Scholor from Latvia.  His focus as an undergraduate was on behavioral ecology and evolution, both theory and field work using birds as study animals.  His senior project focused on personality differences in a small European bird, the great tit.  He then spent a year working on the evolution of recombination at the Jackson Laboratory with Dr. Petkov’s group.  Since the fall of 2011 Mikus has been in the Ph.D. program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Indiana University.  You can view his lab webpage here.

Casie Reed. Casie worked every summer on a different internship, working at Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory on eelgrass restoration ecology, at Florida State on plankton communities in pitcher plants, and did her senior project on the population genetics of eelgrass. She worked as a research technician at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and is now a graduate student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

Jason Bosworth.  Jason focused on botany and invasive species as an undergraduate, although he is currently working at the Jackson Laboratory on the genetics of ageing with Dr. Kevin Flurkey.

Sarah Colletti Sarah fell in love with reptiles and amphibians (herps), and for her senior project developed a salamander data monitoring protocol for Acadia National Park as part of her senior project.  After graduation, Sarah went to West Virginia to take an Americorps position working at the Monongahela National Forest on a variety of tasks including natural resource monitoring, education, and GIS mapping.

Class of 2009

Iris Lowery.Iris facebook pic Iris worked on both biology and policy as an undergraduate, often with an emphasis on marine systems.  She did her internship working as a crew member on the tall ship Angelique, and for her senior project looked at the population genetic structure of a local estuarine fish, Fundulus heteroclitus. She was also a research assistant for Ken Cline and me working on defining success in fisheries which will one day hopefully be a link to a manuscript here.  She finished law school at George Washington University in D.C and is currently practicing law in New Hampshire.

Sarah Drerup. Sarah-D-2012Sarah worked a variety of marine ecology research projects while an undergrad, and the two main ones, work on the reproductive timing of sea cucumbers and her work on clam management in Bar Harbor formed the basis of her senior project.  Sarah spent her first year after graduation working as an Americorps worker for the Monday Creek Restoration Project in Ohio, followed by a second Americorps year in Cape Cod working on marine resource issues. Sarah is now (fall 2013) in her second year in the Master’s program in Library and Informational Science at the University of Washington and I believe this summer started Basic Training in the Army National Guard in the Officer Training Program. Her picture is to the right.

Linda Mejia. Linda focused on biology, education, and museum studies while she was a student at COA. Her work outside of the college included several projects at the college’s Dorr Museum of Natural History, and she did her internship at Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.  For her senior project, Linda worked on kits for teachers to use for hands-on explorations of science, and is currently in graduate school at the University of Maine at Orono to get a teaching credential.

Class of 2008.