2019 GMGI SCIENCE FORUM: A day of fisheries and marine research

With fishing boats and crowded whale watches as a backdrop, GMGI returned to the historic Gloucester House for the 2019 Science Forum. GMGI staff and members of the Science Advisory Board joined nearly 100 scientists, community members and students at the recent daylong forum.

The speakers presented on a wide range of marine research topics drawn from fishery, genomics and marine science. The lineup of 10 speakers represented Stanford University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, USDA National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, Marine Biological Laboratory and GMGI.

The morning speaker lineup focused on fisheries, aquaculture and conservation topics. Keynote Speaker Barbara Block (Stanford University) started the day with a talk on White Sharks in the far away North Pacific “White Shark Café,” a location where White Sharks spend up to six months each year. Brian Peterson spoke on the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center’s efforts to selectively breed improved Atlantic salmon.

The afternoon talks ranged from microbial biology to understanding the intelligence of the octopus. Jennifer Bowen (Northeastern University) delivered a fascinating talk on genomic insights into salt marsh biogeochemistry, focusing on Newburyport’s Plum Island salt marshes. The afternoon session ended with Joshua Rosenthal’s (Marine Biological Laboratory) talk addressing how editing mRNAs can rewrite the cephalopod neural transcriptome.

Guests enjoyed an hour of relaxed conversation in the outdoor café before returning for the anticipated keynote address given by Barbara Block. Dr. Block’s talk (“Fish & Chips: Using Biologging & Genomic Technology to Improve Management of Giant Bluefin Tuna”) discussed the tagging and tracking of blue fin tuna. It brought together rarely seen, beautiful images of the incredibly journeys that these animals undertake throughout the World’s oceans, and the importance of global conservation initiatives. It was a wonderful end to a day full of engaging talks and discussion.

Abstracts for all 2019 Science Forum talks will be posted on the GMGI website.

GMGI is grateful to the 2019 Science Forum Sponsors -- The Company of Biologists, New England Lab, Eppendorf, TECAN Genomics and New England Biolabs -- for their support in making this edition a huge success.

Photo Credit: Jon Sachs

Gary Wessel, PhD, from Brown University delivers his talk on Germ-line formation in echinoderms

Steve Connolly Seafood Company, Gloucester

Keynote speaker Barbara Block, PhD traveled from Stanford University to deliver the keynote address on tagging Bluefin Tuna

GMGI Science Advisory Board with keynote speaker Barbara Block, PhD

2019 Science Forum Speakers: Front Row: Yuan Liu, Amy Teffer, Gary Wessel, GMGI Science Director Andrea Bodnar, Diane Kapareiko

Back Row: Joshua Rosenthal, Paul Berube, Matthew Harke, Jennifer Bowen, Barbara Block

Not Pictured: Brian Peterson

Our mission is to conduct world-class marine biotechnology research which expands the regional economy.

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