|Jane E. Disney, Ph.D.|
Staff Scientist and Director, Community Environmental Health Laboratory
Program in Human and Environmental Sustainability
Ph.D., Washington State University, Zoology, 1988
M.S., Pennsylvania State University, Genetics, 1984
B.S., Pennsylvania State University, Biology, 1982
My research involves studying and restoring eelgrass populations in Frenchman Bay using a community-based approach. I am collaborating with Dr. George Kidder (MDI Biological Laboratory) and Dr. Wendy Norden (University of Maine at Machias) to evaluate the success of various methods of restoration. In addition, I am tracking colonization of restored eelgrass beds by marine invertebrates. I also study water quality in areas from which we harvest eelgrass for transplantation and in our restoration area.
This research is made possible through a network of community partnerships including the Town of Bar Harbor, Town of Lamoine, College of the Atlantic, Maine Mussel Harvesters Association, and Acadia Aqua Farms. Part of my work includes communication with partners.
As Director of the Community Environmental Health Laboratory (CEHL), I am responsible for recruiting volunteers to participate in a variety of citizen science initiatives, including eelgrass mapping and restoration. In addition, I engage student interns, teachers, and community members as water quality monitors in the Maine Healthy Beaches Program and as phytoplankton monitors in the Maine Volunteer Phytoplankton Monitoring Program. I am also responsible for outreach and education initiatives in five local schools. Currently, middle school students are studying eelgrass habitats in aquaria in their classrooms and designing experiments to address questions they have about relationships between organisms that utilize eelgrass-based ecosystems.