picture of Sara Lindsay

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Sara M. Lindsay
Associate Professor, Marine Sciences

Sensory Biology and Ecology of Marine Invertebrates

Welcome! to the Lindsay lab at the University of Maine, where we cultivate an appreciation for good mud, cool polychaetes, the complexity of sensory systems, and the importance of asking good questions. The overviews below are just that. If they catch your interest, then follow the links above for more details. My CV and publications can be found under Research. Stop by the Gallery to check out some of the cool images of various microscopic organisms that we've captured under our microscopes.

Research Overview:  I am an integrative biologist. My research interests span marine invertebrate community ecology, behavior, sensory biology and molecular biology. Some of the questions that intrigue me are: 1) How do sensory systems, such as chemoreception and vision coordinate ecologically important behaviors? 2) How do processes such as predation and disturbance (and their interactions) structure communitites? 3) How do predation risk and injury affect feeding behavior, bioturbation, and competitive interactions? I am especially interested in the links between individuals, populations, and community ecology. Right now, I am investigating these questions in polychaetes. I use many approaches including field and laboratory experiments; video recording; light,confocal and electron microscopy; immunohistochemistry; molecular biological techniques; computer simulation and mathematical modelling. Current projects are described on the Research page.

Teaching Overview: My best college professors were creative, passionate and enthusiastic about their subject matter and they weren't afraid to show it. They helped me find the answers to my questions, building my confidence in seeing connections among what often seemed like an onslaught of facts. They expected me to be engaged in learning. Those teachers took the time to recognize my strengths and successes, even while pointing out what I needed to improve. They encouraged me to move beyond the easy familiar subjects and explore more challenging topics and activities. They weren't just teachers -- they were mentors. As a faculty member at the University of Maine, I follow the examples of my best teachers and my teaching philosophy and practices reflect their influence.

My current teaching at UMaine includes:
SMS 203 Intro. to Integrative Marine Science (writing intensive)
SMS 404 Capstone Seminar in Marine Sciences
SMS 514 Ecology of Marine Sediments
SMS 598 Marine Chemical Ecology
SMS 598 Marine Macrophysiology

Outreach Overview: My outreach activities have ranged from co-directing the EPA-funded Silver Wake Phytoplankton Project that fostered partnerships between coastal community phytoplankton monitoring volunteers and K-12 teachers to developing WebQuests that focus on sensory biology in the the oceans (specifically investigatigng right whales and acoustic signals), and more recently collaborating with the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence-Ocean Systems project to promote ocean science literacy. I often provide presentations or lead activities related to marine science or microscopy at local schools.

Sara Lindsay and two high school interns studying mud at Lamoine Beach
Interns & Intro to Mud, Lamoine Beach.

Montage of four  polychaete  images :(Clockwise from top left): spionid in profile; palp sensory cell; confocal image of  spionid regenerated central nervous system; ) light micrograph regenerating spionid head.
Making sense of Spionid
polychaete senses
More Research>>

Sara with Silver Wake teachers spinning a food web outdoors
Spinning a food web with
Silver Wake teachers

More Outreach>>

Contact Information:

Sara M. Lindsay
5751 Murray Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

office: Murray 210
lab: Murray 216
email: slindsay@maine.edu
Phone: 207-581-2739

NOTE: While I'm on sabbatical leave Jan-May 2011, email is the best way to reach me.

Sara Lindsay
updated 12/2010

Research Teaching Outreach People Links Gallery
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine