The 45th annual Benthic Ecology Meeting was held in Portland, Maine this year, hosted by Bowdoin College. Organized by David Carlon and Steven Allen, the event was a huge success and the Witman Lab made a great showing! Professor John Witman presented on the long-term trends in the Galapagos invertebrate community, focusing on changes in urchin grazing and responses to the recent warm water event. PhD student Robert Lamb talked about El Niño-related changes in the Galapagos, showing very interesting changes in fish populations, especially planktivores, and increased disease prevalence. Anaide Wrublevski Aued, a visiting researcher from Brazil, presented results from her large-scale study of Brazilian shallow benthic communities. Eliza Moore created a poster summarizing her work with the Narragansett Bay Commission, documenting the improvement of water quality in the upper bay and outlining goals for restoration of the bay ecosystem.
We also had a great time exploring Maine! We visited the Portland Head Lighthouse, went tidepooling along the rugged coastline, and ate some delicious food (HIGHLY recommend the Holy Doughnut, top 5 doughnut shops in the nation!)
Fiona, Anaide, and Robbie at the Portland Head Lighthouse
Follow the Witman Lab's adventures, on land and at sea @witmanlab on Instagram and Twitter!