Rock Talk Seminar Series


Our Rock Talk Seminar Series is a long-standing and well-loved tradition at SML. Historically, faculty members and guest speakers would gather with students on Appledore Island's rocky shoreline (giving the Rock Talk series its name) to present on a wide range of topics related to natural history, ecology, biology, and more. To stay connected with our community following the pandemic, we transitioned our Rock Talks online and have featured guest speakers from across the country. Below you will find a list of upcoming speakers, as well as past seminar recordings. Please note that you must register for these talks ahead of time, and all registration links will be shared on this page. We look forward to seeing you at a future Rock Talk!


When: Thursday, June 24th, 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM ET

Talk Title: Climate change, adaptation, and resilience in Northeast U. S. fishing communities

Talk Description: Ocean waters on the Northeast U. S. continental shelf have warmed rapidly in recent years, and climate models project this warming to continue. Associated changes in species distributions and productivity are already affecting fishing communities, as they face declines in traditionally-fished species and the appearance of emerging species in their fishing areas. The local impacts of these changes depend on the nature and rate of ecosystem change, patterns of dependence on marine resources, and adaptation capacity and choices. This talk will describe some of the changes occurring in the Northeast U. S. shelf ecosystem and their effects on fisheries in the region. It will also characterize how these changes are testing and demonstrating the resilience of certain regional fisheries and how others are planning to adapt to climate-driven species shifts.




Bio: Dr. Katherine Mills is a research scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, Maine. She earned her Ph.D. in Natural Resources at Cornell University. As a quantitative fisheries ecologist, Kathy studies marine ecosystem changes and fish-ecosystem-fishery relationships with a focus on the Gulf of Maine and Northeast US Shelf regions. Specifically, her research investigates (1) how physical and ecosystem conditions are changing; (2) how these changes affect fish populations, biological communities, and marine fisheries; and (3) how fisheries and fishing communities can effectively respond.



Marine Biology & Fisheries Management

All That Live Must Die: Exploring Microbial Mortality in the Ocean - Dr. Liz Harvey 

Calling Whales and Chorusing Fishes as Sentinels of Human Influence on Marine Ecosystems - Dr. Aaron Rice 

Community-Based Collaborative Fisheries Research: Fishermen and Scientists Working Together - Owen Nichols 

NOAA Science &Technology: Accelerating Innovation in the 21st Century - Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet 

Physiological Responses to Environmental Change: Insights from Polluted Lives of Atlantic Killifish - Dr. Nishad Jayasundara 

Red Herrings, Misleading Results and Redefining a Disease: Sea Star Wasting in a Changing Ocean - Dr. Ian Hewson 

Rockweed: Foundation Species, Harvestable Resource - Hannah Webber 

The Global Impact of Fisheries and Global Warming on Marine Ecosystems - Dr. Daniel Pauly 

Trophic Relationships in the Benthos: Feeding Morphology and Ecology of Macroinvertebrates – Dr. Maya DeVries 


Changing Ecosystems

Climate Change and Alaska Marine Ecosystems - Dr. Mike Sigler 

Exploring Global Change in the Ocean - Dr. Brian Cheng 

Sea Rescue: Marine Species Partnerships Restoring Our Coastal Ecosystems - Dr. Brian Silliman 

The Impacts of Warming Due to Climate Change in the Gulf of Maine Ecosystems - Michelle Staudinger 

Understanding Changes in Kelp Forests Around the World and Around Appledore - Dr. Jarrett Byrnes 


History, Art, & Natural Sciences 

Childe Hassam & Celia Thaxter on the Isles of Shoals - John Coffey  

Childe Hassam and Diagnostic Rocks of Appledore - Dr. Hal Weeks 

6000 Years of Shoals History Through Archaeology and Mapping - Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley & Dr. Nathan Hamilton 

Rachel Carson and the Gulf of Maine, With Comments on Woods Hole, MA - Dr. Willy Bemis