doc riser
Nathan “Doc” Riser was named the founding Director in 1967 of what was then the Marine Science Institute (MSI). He was director of what is now known as the Marine Science Center until 1979, and he officially retired from the faculty in 1985. He continued working in his laboratory nearly every day, and maintained an active research program until his death in 2006.

During his tenure as Director, Doc Riser brought widespread recognition to the MSI as a center for marine organismal biology. The Institute attracted hundreds of prominent international marine biologists whose presence enriched the lives of the resident graduate students and produced a vibrant and scholarly atmosphere.  Read more about Doc and his legacy here.

2017 Riser Lecture

Friday, April 28 at 4 pm

COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS IN CHANGING TIMES (watch it here)

Dr. Linda Deegan
Senior Scientist
Woods Hole Research Center

Screenshot 2017-01-31 15.57.36Coastal ecosystems are cherished because they are beautiful, provide food and protect cities from coastal storms. In the past threats were direct – dredging and filling – and easier to fix. Today these ecosystems are suffering from diffuse threats, with impacts that are harder to see and more challenging to remedy. Eutrophication has resulted in salt marshes being one of the most nutrient enriched ecosystems in the world. Dr. Deegan will discuss the previously unsuspected changes to saltmarshes caused by too many nutrients, and consider options for restoration that take into account the legacy of coastal eutrophication.

Previous Riser Lectures

2016

Dr. Os Schmidt
Yale University
Conserving animals is our best bet for climate geoengineering

2015

Dr. Susan Williams
Bodega Marine Laboratory – UC Davis
Along the spice route: The quest to protect Indonesia’s marine biodiversity

2014

Dr. Mark Hay
Georgia Institute of Technology
Ecosystem tipping points, chemical ecology, and the continuing death spiral of coral reefs

2013

Dr. Paul Dayton
University of California at San Diego
Bottoms beneath the ice: Reflections on 100 years of benthic ecology at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica

2012

Dr. Nancy Knowlton
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
The evolutionary diversity, ecological complexity, and future fate of coral reefs

2011

Dr. Emmett J. Duffy
The College of William and Mary
Biological diversity as the central organizing concept in marine conservation and management: challenges and opportunities

2010

Dr. Robert T. Paine
University of Washington
Food webs and conservation: misleading cartoons of reality or useful guides to a complex and interactive nature?

2009

Dr. Bruce A. Menge
Oregon State University
Towards a global model of understanding of dynamics of coastal ecosystems

2008

Dr. Mark D. Bertness
Brown University
Does marine ecology matter to conservation biology?

2007

Dr. Geerat J. Vermeij
University of California at Davis
Opportunity, geography, and innovation: lessons from shells

2006

Dr. Steve Hawkins
Marine Biological Association of the UK
Big patterns and small patches: climate change and biological interactions on European rocky shores

2005

Dr. John Grahame
University of Leeds
Snails on the seashore: shells, geography, genes, and speciation

2004

Dr. Don Levitan
Florida State University
Love and jealousy in sea urchins; density dependent sexual selection and the evolution of sexual dimorphism

2003

Dr. Les Watling
University of Maine
Random observations on the biology of deep water corals: is there a pattern?

2002

Dr. James Blake
ENSR Marine and Coastal Center
The origin and evolution of Antarctic and deep-sea macroinfauna

2001

Dr. Steve Palumbi
Harvard University
Using molecular genetics in marine Conservation

2000

Dr. Bruce B. Collette
National Marine Fisheries Service
Fishes of Bermuda: biodiversity and history

1999

Dr. Winsor Watson
University of New Hampshire
Lobster migrations

1998

Dr. Kenneth Sebens
University of Maryland
Rocky subtidal communities in Massachusetts: two decades of change

1997

Dr. Roger Hanlon
Marine Biological Laboratory
Sex and aggression: fascinating evolutionary games that cephalopods play

1996

Dr. Wilfried Westheide
University of Osnabruck
Sperm phagocytosis and the evolution of hermaphroditism in small annelids

1995

Dr. Nora Terwilliger
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology
Hemocyanin and hemoglobin expression: the effect of time and tides

1994

1993

Dr. Sarah Ann Woodin
University of Southern Carolina
Disturbance, scale and behavior in sedimentary systems

1992

Dr. Kevin Eckelbarger
University of Maine
The biology of the invertebrate egg formation, cytomorphological diversity and life history implications

1991

Dr. Mimi Koehl
University of California at Berkeley
The physical world as encountered by the organism: things are not always what they seem

1990

1989

Dr. Seth Tyler
University of Maine
Functional morphology: its role in understanding convergent evolution

1988

Dr. Charlotte Mangum
The College of William and Mary
Centipede hemocyanin, or how physiologist and biochemists can and cannot contribute to our understanding of animal phylogeny

1987

Dr. Volker Storch
University of Heidelberg
Cell and environment: a link between morphology and ecology

1986

Dr. Kristian Fauchald
National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Eclecticism and the study of polychaetes

1985

Dr. Olav Giere
University of Hamburg
Meiofauna and microbes – the interactive relations of annelid hosts with their symbiotic bacteria