BIDDEFORD, Maine — Markus Frederich, Ph.D., professor in the University of New England’s Department of Marine Sciences, who has been named the university’s Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 2017-2018, will deliver the annual Ludcke Lecture on Dec. 4. The talk, titled “Walking Sideways: My meandering path through the world of crab physiology,” will be held at 5 p.m. in the St. Francis Room of the Jack Ketchum Library on UNE’s Biddeford Campus.
Frederich is a well published marine physiologist with a very active research program on invasive crustaceans. He received funding for his work from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Maine SeaGrant and the American Physiological Society. He is currently the project director of a $640,000 NSF teaching grant that implements hands-on research activities in multiple science courses in all STEM departments.
Recently, he received a $120,000 instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation that funded a FlowCam imaging particle analysis instrument to assess and quantify plankton samples. This instrument allows for monitoring larvae of invasive species and is also used in the marine sciences teaching labs.
Frederich is currently investigating stress tolerance in genetically different populations of European green crabs. These invasive crabs decimate the soft shell clam fishery in New England. With his students, Frederich tests whether crabs from Maine, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Iceland have different tolerances to stress leading to different levels of environmental destruction.
“Working on these different research questions is very exciting. However, being able to share this experience with my students and, thereby, contribute to the careers of future researchers is the most amazing part of my job at UNE,” said Frederich.
Frederich earned his Ph.D. in physiology from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, and did his postdoctoral work at Harvard Medical School. His expertise is in invertebrate physiology, stress biology and invasive species biology. His research on crustaceans brought him to Punta Arenas, Chile; Roscoff, France; and, recently, Iceland.
In his 13 years at the University of New England, Frederich mentored 39 research students in his lab. Some of his former students are now Ph.D. level researchers, medical doctors, researchers at state agencies, or are pursuing other exciting endeavors. Frederich also serves on the board of directors of the non-profit organization ixplore, which supports teacher education in modern molecular biology and brings modern science equipment into public schools.
The Ludcke Chair, funded by a generous bequest from the estate of Eleanor Ludcke (Westbrook College Class of 1926), is presented annually to a tenured member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his or her outstanding academic accomplishments. The chair holder must have attained the ideal of the “teacher/scholar,” a dedicated educator and productive researcher who has given time generously to the University of New England over a significant period.
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