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Robert Steneck, Featured ScientistFeatured Scientist:
Robert Steneck

Professor, University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences, Darling Marine Center, Walpole, Maine

Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 1982

I study ecological processes in or on the floor of the ocean. My experiments focus on the food webs, structure and dominant organisms of coastal marine communities. My "laboratory" is the Gulf of Maine's sub-tidal zone in which I use SCUBA diving, under-water video systems, manned submersibles and the University of Maine's remotely operated vehicle as primary research tools.

I'm currently studying lobsters, sea urchin and kelp in Maine. I also work on the ecology of coral reefs in the Caribbean. I think an important way to understand organisms or a system is to observe them first hand - in their habitat. The work is at the organism level and integrates between small scale (i.e., behavioral phenomena) with large scale (oceanographic) processes. By applying basic ecology to human marine resource and management questions, I am able to conduct studies that are both interesting and enormously useful for people who make their living from the sea.

Many of the studies involve my graduate students who publish their theses. I think it is important to give students the opportunity to learn by doing. Students who work under my direction get involved with all aspects of basic research from proposal writing, deploying experiments, gathering data and writing papers.

For more information on Dr. Steneck and his research, visit:

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National Science Foundation Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Maine Forest Products Council Irving Woodlands, LLC Desiree Carlson, M.D. More Connected. More Maine.

Major funding is provided by the National Science Foundation.
Additional funding is provided by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Forest Products Council, Irving Woodlands LLC., Desiree Carlson, M.D., and gifts to More Connected. More Maine, The Campaign for Maine Public Broadcasting Network's Programming.

A list of other funders includes:
The Davis Family Foundation, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, and Lincoln Ladd.

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