Dr. Jeffrey Runge
Dr. Jeffrey Runge is Professor of Oceanography in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine, Orono, and senior Research Scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland. His research investigates the factors and processes controlling plankton productivity and the effects of changes in planktonic production on fish and marine mammals. He is Director of the Integrated Sentinel Monitoring Network, a regional infrastructure facilitating observation and analysis of marine ecosystem change in Northeast U.S. coastal waters.
Dr. Runge will focus on the Gulf of Maine as a case study of the impact of changing climate on coastal ocean ecosystems. Over the past decade, the Gulf of Maine has been warming rapidly, faster than most coastal oceans on earth. The Gulf of Maine ecosystem is responding to climate change in ways we are only beginning to understand. By shifting its foraging distribution, the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale, a plankton feeder, is in its own way informing us of change in the abundance of the lipid- rich subarctic zooplankton that has been the foundation of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Dr. Runge will explore the oceanographic mechanisms influencing right whale feeding behavior, the structure of the Gulf of Maine marine food web, and how increasing atmospheric CO2 may affect the Gulf of Maine as we now know it.