Townsend to talk about red tides, changes in Gulf of Maine

WALPOLE, Maine — David Townsend will present “Red Tides, Unusual Plankton Blooms, and Recent Changes in the Oceanography in the Gulf of Maine” at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in Brooke Hall at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center.

In addition to highlighting his research in the dynamic, biologically productive Gulf of Maine, the professor of oceanography will share findings from his recent work on oceanographic cruises.

His talk will focus on red tides, which are algal blooms that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), and why they occur in the context of Maine’s changing oceanography. For more than 35 years, Townsend has examined biological and physical relationships of phytoplankton, zooplankton and larval fish in the Gulf of Maine region.

Townsend also is director of UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences (SMS). With more than 85 faculty and professional research staff, SMS has the largest concentration of marine experts in Maine and one of the strongest programs in the United States.

SMS faculty are based at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, as well as at the main campus in Orono and at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. SMS faculty have expertise in almost all areas of marine sciences, including marine biology, oceanography, marine policy and aquaculture, and train more than 50 graduate students and nearly 300 undergraduate students each year.

This free, public talk is part of the DMC’s science seminar series that features SMS faculty, students and alumni. Talks, which are held Fridays through Aug. 16, provide opportunities to discuss current marine research that advances understanding of marine ecosystems and the human communities that are part of them.

Visit for the list of featured speakers and topics. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, call 207.563.8135.