David Carlon, of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has been named Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Bowdoin College Marine Laboratory, a newly endowed position at the College. Carlon is a marine evolutionary biologist and ecologist with degrees from Boston University and UMass Boston and a Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire.
“Dave has a broad background in marine research, extensive experience working in marine labs all over the world, and an expansive vision that will be invaluable as he enhances the scope and depth of our marine lab,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.
Building on his interest in how ocean ecosystems respond to shifting environmental forces, in his new position Carlon plans to develop a research emphasis on climate change. His research background includes work in speciation and conservation genetics. “He has tackled big topics in evolution and ecology, really addressing fundamental questions,” said John Lichter, director of Bowdoin’s Environmental Studies Program.
In keeping with this big-picture mentality, Carlon will help broaden the lab’s focus to embrace not just biology but other sciences such as oceanography, physics, chemistry, and neuroscience. He will also work closely with the college as it continues expanding the use of its Coastal Studies site to a wide range of campus groups—including the art department, sailing team, and cross-country team—and forging ties with other marine labs in the area. “It’s very exciting,” Carlon said. “It’s a nice opportunity for me to help Bowdoin build the lab and maybe take it in a new direction.”