Bigelow Laboratory scientist appointed to ocean acidification study commission

Sat, 06/07/2014 - 11:30am

    Dr. Meredith White, a postdoctoral researcher at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, has been named to the study commission recently established by the Maine legislature to investigate and report on the impacts of ocean acidification on Maine’s commercial fisheries. White was one of eight commission appointees made to the Ocean Acidification Commission by Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick C. Keliher.

    White works in the laboratory of Bigelow Laboratory of Senior Research Scientist William Balch, where they focus on the impact of ocean acidification on phytoplankton. She received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry at Lafayette College and a doctorate in biological oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 2013.

    White began studying the impacts of ocean acidification on scallops while working on her doctorate at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and transitioned to studying the impacts of ocean acidification on phytoplankton when she joined Bigelow Laboratory in 2013.

    The Ocean Acidification Commission is charged with identifying the impacts of coastal and ocean acidification and find ways to mitigate its effects on Maine's commercially important fisheries and shellfish aquaculture industry. It is comprised of a mix of legislators, scientists, commercial fishermen, and aquaculture growers and harvesters and will be staffed by the Legislature’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis.

    White was one of three scientists who study ocean acidification who were appointed to the commission. She will join seven other members who were appointed by the Commissioner of Marine Resources. They are Dr. Susie Arnold, The Island Institute; Joe Payne, Casco Baykeeper, Friends of Casco Bay; Bill Mook, Mook Sea Farm; Richard Nelson, F/V Pescadero; Dr. Mark Green, Basket Island Oyster Company; Dr. Larry Mayer, University of Maine, and Dr. Joseph Salisbury, University of New Hampshire. After meeting a minimum of four times, the Commission is expected to report its findings in December 2014. 

    Bigelow conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography to large-scale ocean processes that affect the global environment. Recognized as a leader in Maine’s emerging innovation economy, the laboratory’s research, education, and technology transfer programs are spurring significant economic growth in the state.