Note from the Director

Dear Friends,

Thanks to the hard work and cooperation of many folks, the Marine Science Center continues to transform itself in amazing ways. A new seawater system that has drastically increased our research capacity, a new classroom in the Murphy Bunker, a greenhouse for the Hughes Lab, experimental tank farms for the Kimbro and Grabowski Labs, and an experimental ocean acidification facility for the Ries Lab are just among the many projects that are either finished or will soon be completed. These successes would not have been possible without the teamwork of our entire community, but I think special recognition should go to Ryan Hill (MSC Facilities Manager), Heather Sears (MSC Business and Operations Manager), and Ray Everett of the Facilities Division. We would not be where we are without the committed efforts of these outstanding people.

Change at the MSC has become the norm on so many fronts. Five new faculty (Drs. Helmuth, Hughes, Kimbro, Patterson, and Ries) arrived in 2013, bringing world-class expertise in climate change science, ocean acidification, marine robotics, and community ecology. In addition to bringing cutting-edge research that will support the Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative and core research strengths in several dimensions of marine science, these talented folks will play a key role in shaping our undergraduate and graduate programs moving forward. We will continue to seek the best faculty candidates possible as we grow the Marine Science Center and Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences. Finally, the Center and the University are proud to have Ocean Genome Legacy become a part of our community, generating incredible research in the field of marine genomics.

Our graduate students continue to shine as they pursue their Ph.D. degrees. It has been a real pleasure to see David Combosch and Elizabeth Bryson defend their outstanding dissertations and become the very first graduates of our new Ph.D. program in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology. In addition to receiving a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the University, Catherine Matassa received Northeastern’s Outstanding Graduate Student Award for Research, which was also received by Chris Baillie for Teaching. Jessica Torossian, was the recipient of a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship by the College of Science to work in the Helmuth Lab. Chris Conroy received a Fellowship from the American Fisheries Society, and Dan Blustein was selected as an AAAS Science and Engineering Mass Media Fellow. It is clear that these successes will continue because our students are setting the bar high in terms of their ability to get their work published. Our Three Seas Program continued to attract great talent and passion this year.

I would also like to highlight the great work of the MSC’s Outreach program, led by Carole McCauley. Carole continues to be an outstanding liaison to surrounding communities. Whether it is excellent educational programs for K-12 students or spearheading efforts to let the world know about all of the great things happening at the MSC (check out our Facebook page), Carole’s team is taking the MSC’s outreach efforts to new levels!

I promise there will be more good news to come and, as always, we appreciate your support.


Geoffrey C. Trussell
Chair, Department of Marine and Enviromental Sciences
Director, Marine Science Center