- Ph.D., Washington State University, Zoology, 1988
- M.S., Pennsylvania State University, Genetics, 1984
- B.S., Pennsylvania State University, Biology, 1982
207-288-9880 ext 125
My research involves studying and restoring eelgrass populations in Frenchman Bay using a community-based approach. I am collaborating with a variety of community and regional partners, including Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Alfred University to evaluate the efficacy of various methods of restoration. Together we are mapping eelgrass recovery over time. I am collaborating with Bev Johnson, Ph.D. (Bates College) to determine carbon stocks in restored and unrestored eelgrass areas and carbon sequestration rates in areas around Mt. Desert Island, an endeavor that may help with efforts to garner state-level support for eelgrass conservation. Finally, I study water quality in areas from which we harvest eelgrass for transplantation, at our restoration sites, and in surrounding areas to understand the impact of changing environmental conditions on eelgrass.
I help coordinate the activities of the Frenchman Bay Partners, a group of stakeholders including fishermen, aquaculture industry representatives, nonprofit organizations, education and research institutions, and individual community members who are working together to ensure a healthy future for Frenchman Bay. Eelgrass is one of the four conservation targets the group has prioritized.
As director of the Community Environmental Health Laboratory (CEHL), I oversee recruitment of volunteers to participate in a variety of citizen science initiatives, including eelgrass mapping and restoration. In addition, I oversee outreach and education initiatives in schools in Maine and New Hampshire. My staff and I are working with teachers, students, and community partners in these states to help them understand the relationship between surface water and ground water and the impacts of contaminants such as arsenic on human health. We are engaging them in well water testing for trace elements and community outreach and education projects about well water contaminant issues and mitigation strategies.
The MDI Biological Laboratory’s New Center for Science Entrepreneurship
WABI TV5/The CW · February 2, 2017
Maine Institutions Look to Help Students Become Scientists
Maine Public · October 12, 2016
Missing Eelgrass Is Raising Concerns for Scientists
Fox 22/ABC7 TV · June 16, 2016
Maine Lab Seeks Citizens' Help to Determine Why Eelgrass Disappearing
MPBN · June 14, 2016
The Disappearance of Maine’s Eelgrass Meadows
Press Release · June 14, 2016
MDI Biological Laboratory Hosting Course in Cutting Edge Microscopic Research Techniques
WABI TV5 · May 24, 2016
Seeing Cells in A New Light: MDI Biological Laboratory Offers Course in Quantitative Fluorescence Microscopy
Press Release · May 5, 2016
MDI Biological Laboratory to Host 43rd Maine Biological and Medical Sciences Symposium
Press Release · April 14, 2016
Science Cafés Begin with the Future of Frenchman Bay
Press Release · January 24, 2014
Scientists Looking for Culprit in Eelgrass Disappearance
Press Release · July 23, 2013
A unique coastal watershed survey in Maine. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. Disney JE, Prinbeck G, Steele Z – 2014; 69(3):89A-94A doi:10.2489/jswc.69.3.89A
Biodegradable Grids: A Preferred Method for Community-Based Zostera marina (Eelgrass) Restoration in Maine. Kidder GW, White S, Miller MF, Norden WS, Taylor T and Disney JE -. J. Coastal Research 2013; http://www.jcronline.org/doi/abs/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-13-00062.1
Defective repair of radiation-induced chromosomal damage in scid/scid mice. Disney JE, Barth AL, Shultz LD – Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1992;59(1):39-44.
Expression of mRNAs encoding mammalian chromosomal proteins HMG-I and HMG-Y during cellular proliferation. Johnson KR, Disney JE, Wyatt CR, Reeves R – Exp Cell Res. 1990 Mar;187(1):69-76.
High-mobility group protein HMG-I localizes to G/Q- and C-bands of human and mouse chromosomes. Disney JE, Johnson KR, Magnuson NS, Sylvester SR, Reeves R – J Cell Biol. 1989 Nov;109(5):1975-82.
Maintenance of foreign gene expression and independent chromosome fragments in adult transgenic rainbow trout and their offspring.
Disney JE, Johnson KR, Banks DK, Thorgaard GH – J Exp Zool. 1988 Dec;248(3):335-44.
Cytogenetic analyses of a Salvelinus hybrid reveal an evolutionary relationship between the parental species. Disney JE, Wright JE – Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1987;45(3-4):196-205.
Duncan Bailey: Systems Developer and development lead @Anecdata.org
Duncan is a graduate of University of Maine with skills in computer programming, database construction, and data management. He created and is promoting worldwide use of our citizen science data portal, Anecdata.org. In addition he manages our Frenchman Bay Partners, Seagrasses in Classes, and All About Arsenic websites.
Anna Farrell: Program Coordinator
Anna is a graduate of Dennison University, where she received a degree in environmental studies. She completed two terms of service with us as an AmeriCorps Environmental Steward. Now she oversees all projects and programs at the Community Environmental Health Laboratory, including a recent EPA-funded Environmental Education project to reduce arsenic levels in drinking water in Maine and New Hampshire by engaging teachers, students, and community members in well water testing.