Note from the Director

Geoff Trussell

Dear Friends,

Greetings from East Point! The Marine Science Center (MSC) continues to move forward in myriad ways, and these accomplishments are largely due to the great teamwork of our students, staff, and faculty. We are building a great environment for scientific research and higher education that all rests on a solid foundation of community. We all love coming to work, and that’s not just because of the breathtaking views around the MSC property.

We continue to focus on our desire to become a global leader in the area of urban coastal sustainability, seeking to forge interdisciplinary collaborations that produce solutions for cleaner, safer, and smarter coastal communities. The efforts of the Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative (UCSI) are being recognized as evidenced by a $1.5M grant from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Foundation to support an endowed Professorship in Marine and Environmental Sciences. The Doherty Foundation has long been a major supporter of marine science, and their recognition and support of our efforts speak volumes about our achievements and future.

Our students continue to lead the way, setting a standard of achievement and excellence that will transform our relatively new PhD program in Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology into one of the best in the country. Their accomplishments are too numerous to cover in this short note, but I should highlight both Allison Matzelle (Helmuth Lab) and Tanya Rogers (Kimbro Lab) for winning prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowships, and Robert Murphy (Grabowski Lab) and Amanda Dwyer (Patterson Lab) for receiving Honorable Mentions for this intensely competitive fellowship.

On the hiring front, we have nearly completed a search for a new faculty member in Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics, and are partnering with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering to hire faculty in the area of coastal sustainability. The candidates that have interviewed with us are outstanding, and I am hopeful that we will soon have at least two new faculty members joining Northeastern.

Our signature Three Seas Marine Biology Program will soon be doubling in size with graduate and undergraduate cohorts rotating between Nahant, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and Friday Harbor Laboratories at the University of Washington. This thriving program has benefited immensely from the hard work of Liz Magee, Heather Sears, and Mark Patterson, the new Faculty Head of the Program. I should also mention the great efforts of faculty from other universities that participate in our program. Again, there are far too many to mention, but I should highlight the longstanding contributions of Rich Aronson (FIT), Bill Precht (GulfBase), and Jim Leichter (SCRIPPS).

Finally, we are putting the finishing touches on a new Master’s degree program in Environmental Science and Policy. This new program is a collaborative venture with the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the College of Social Sciences and Humanities that embraces the vision and mission of the Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative. Our goal is to provide students with the broad expertise of environmental scientists, sociologists, economists, urban planners, and policy analysts that better prepares them to address present and future environmental challenges.


Geoffrey C. Trussell
Chair, Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences
Director, Marine Science Center