Lobster Ecology and Industry Internships

The Wahle Lab is seeking two undergraduate students to assist in marine science research projects this summer at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center (DMC). All applicants must be working towards a bachelor’s degree in a Biological Science, preferably Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Fishery Science, or a related field. Applicants must demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing a career in the marine sciences. The internships will be supported by UMaine student research funds. All interns will be expected to participate in weekly lab meetings with the research team. On occasion, hours may extend beyond the standard 8-hour work day. Each Internship is highlighted below:

Larval Lobster Ecology (Website)

Description: This is a multi-investigator collaboration of scientists from UMaine, Bigelow Laboratory, and the University of Southern Maine. The objective of this project to gain insight into the trophic interactions between lobster larvae and the coastal zooplankton assemblage through retrospective analysis of existing time series, enhanced field sampling, laboratory grazing experiments, and gut content analysis of lobster larvae collected in the field. These studies will help us test the hypothesis that recent declines in larval settlement may be related to food limitation in the pelagic food web.

Responsibilities: The intern will assist in a project focused on collecting information on how changing environmental conditions may affect larval lobster survival. Potential tasks include: participating in zooplankton tows on the Maine coast, collecting, preserving, and dissecting lobster larvae for analysis of gut contents, rearing lobster larvae in the lab, and helping to perform lab-based grazing studies.

Qualifications: Applicants should be hardworking, and comfortable with a flexible schedule as necessary, handling live animals, and working at sea on boats.

Deepwater Lobster Settlement (Website)

Description: This science-industry partnership aims to evaluate the relationship between bottom temperature gradients and the depth-wise distribution of newly settled and older juvenile lobster along the Maine coast. Vessel-deployed lobster postlarval collectors are placed in a random stratified design in coordination with Maine DMR’s current ventless trap monitoring across 3 depth strata in the oceanographically contrasting east and west segments of Maine’s coast. The paired sampling approach enables us to evaluate the influence of temperature gradients on the nursery potential of the seabed for new settlers and movements by older lobsters.

Responsibilities: The intern will be tasked with assisting with the preparation, deployment, and retrieval of lobster collectors at sea. The intern will also be responsible for data recording and entry. With approval of UMaine’s Dive Safety Officer, certified divers will have the opportunity to become an AAUS-certified scientific diver in-training, depending on interest, qualifications, and current COVID-19 protocols, and may participate in SCUBA-based collection/field experiments of lobsters.

Qualifications: The ability to work and communicate effectively in both team settings and individually is required. Strong applicants will have experience working on/around small watercraft and a high level of comfort in/around the water.  A positive attitude and the ability to lift at least 50 pounds and withstand long hot/humid or cold/rainy/windy days in the field is necessary.

Additional information:

  • Location: Laboratory of Dr. Richard Wahle [Website],University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center, Walpole, Maine 04573
  • Application Deadline: March 4th, 2022.
  • Position: Full-time paid intern, receiving a stipend weekly depending on experience, housing may be partially or fully covered from mid-May to late August, 2022.
  • Housing: Housing may be provided at the Darling Marine Center dormitory.

How to Apply: Send application materials to Kristyn Kleman (kristyn.kleman@maine.edu). Please provide a letter of interest, CV, two references, and reference the internship you would like to be considered for.


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