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Contact Info | About me | Research Interests | Education | Professional Experience | CV

Marianne Moore

Contact Information

Dr. Marianne V. Moore
Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences

Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Phone: (781) 283 - 3098
Fax: (781) 283 - 3642


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I grew up on a farm in Iowa, and I was named after my father's favorite poet, Marianne Craig Moore (no relation). At first glance, these two disparate distinctions seem irrelevant to a career in aquatic ecology! However, Marianne Craig Moore, one of the major American poets of the 20th century, often wrote about obscure animals with a precision and an exactitude more typical of a scientist than a poet. Growing up on a farm, I spent long hours - not reading poetry - but watching and handling both common farm animals as well as lesser-known invertebrates such as ground beetles, tapeworms, and zebra swallowtail butterflies, my favorites! Although I loved water, and I rapidly became a swimmer, lifeguard, and a swimming instructor, it wasn't until my sophomore summer in college that my passion for aquatic ecology was ignited. That summer, I took a course in invertebrate zoology at a biological field station in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and Canada. The course focused solely on aquatic invertebrates, mostly those that live in lakes, and I became irrevocably hooked. I discovered a world of microorganisms, unknown to most people, but absolutely dazzling in their quiet beauty, mysterious life forms, and intriguing adaptations. Marianne Craig Moore, my namesake, would have treasured them.

After graduating from college and completing a Master's degree in limnology at Iowa State University, I discovered that most people do not know what a limnologist is or does. Limnologists do not write limericks; nor do they study limestone or limbs of trees! Instead, they study inland waters such as lakes, rivers, and wetlands. For example, while at Iowa State, I examined the effects of an ammonia-rich sewage effluent on the diversity of stream and river invertebrates in the Iowa River and its tributaries. Although the work was surprisingly fun, I often dreamed of doing research in a more glamorous setting. So, with the aid of a Fulbright fellowship, I spent the next wonderful year exploring zooplankton vertical migration in New Zealand lakes with and without fish. After island hopping through the South Pacific, I returned to the U.S.A., and I continued my career which has subsequently taken me – and often my students - to lakes, reservoirs, streams, wetlands, and coastal waters of New England, Australia, Central America, and most recently, Siberia. Being a limnologist, or a marine ecologist, is a great way to travel to distant waters!

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Research interests

Aquatic community ecology; plankton communities and abiotic factors (light, temperature) and biotic factors (predation) that structure them; urban ecology with a particular emphasis on effects of artificial light at night and its effects on the behavior and spatial distribution of pelagic and littoral organisms.

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1986 Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology, Dartmouth College
Dr. John J. Gilbert, Dissertation adviser
1977 M.S. in Limnology, Iowa State University
Dr. Roger W. Bachmann, thesis adviser
1975 B.A. in Biology, Cum Laude, Colorado College

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Professional Experience

1997 - current Associate Professor, Wellesley College, Dept. of Biological Sciences
1993 - 1996 Full-time Assistant Professor, Wellesley College, Dept. of Biological Sciences
1988 - 1992 Regular Part-time Assistant Professor, Wellesley College, Dept. Biological Sciences.
1986 - 1988 Postdoctoral Fellow, Miami University, Zoology Department
1981 - 1986 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dartmouth College, Dept. Biological Sciences
1979 - 1980 Research Associate, Iowa State University. Co-directed Iowa Lake Survey.
1977 - 1978 Fulbright research fellow, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
1975 - 1977 Research Assistant, Iowa State University, Animal Ecology Dept.

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Image in header from © T. Credner & S. Kohle, AlltheSky.com


Created By: Bing Li '05 and Zsuzsa Moricz '06
Maintained By: Marianne Moore
Date Created: July 6, 2004
Last Modified: October 11, 2011
Expires: June 1, 2005