Jessica Muhlin

Department: Ocean Studies

· Associate Professor

Phone: 207-326-2403
Office: 206 Dirigo House
Office Hours: M (1400-1450), T (1100-1150) & W (1300-1350) or BY APPT


Jessica Muhlin is an Associate Professor of Marine Biology in the Corning School of Ocean Studies. She was appointed to Maine Maritime Academy's faculty in 2007.

Jessica received her Ph.D. from the University of Maine and her B.A. from Boston University. Her research interests focus on the reproductive ecology, population genetics and food web ecology of fucoid seaweeds in the northwestern Atlantic. Jessica is also actively involved in art-science collaborations using marine algae as inspiration.

Jessica is the lead principal investigator for a Maine Economic Improvement Fund-Small Campus Initiative project researching the importance of surplus fucoid reproductive material to the nearshore marine environment. In addition, she participates in phenology research of Gulf of Maine rockweed species.

Ph.D., Marine Biology, University of Maine
B.A., Biology (concentration in marine sciences, cum laude), Boston University

Block Schedule:


I am an intertidal ecologist who is passionate about marine macroalgae. I love all algae! I enjoy cooking with seaweed, making art with seaweed, and teaching as many people as I can to understand and appreciate the algae.

My research interests include the reproductive ecology of fucoid algae (=rockweeds), nearshore food web dynamics, citizen science and art-science collaborations.

Here is a guest blog I wrote about algae that accompanies an interview I was part of for the Ocean Lovin series at Ocean Sciences radio.

Below are some of the projects I am currently involved with:

Fall 2016 – Present

Collaboration with Susan Brawley (UMaine), Brian Beal (UMaine-Machias) and Aimee Phillipi (Unity College). Investigating geographic variation in age structure and growth rate of Ascophyllum nodosum.

Spring 2016 – Present

Participating in the development of a phycological laboratory manual for the Northeast Algal Society.

Winter 2016 – Present

Collaboration with Brian Olsen, Amanda Klemmer, and Aaron Strong (UMaine). Investigating trophic connectivity within the marine intertidal nearshore environment.

Spring 2016

Co-wrote successful Maine EPSCoR SEANET mini grant to collaborate with parent volunteers and staff at Vine Street Elementary School in Bangor, Maine. This project integrates a hands-on school-based aquaponics system with presentations and participation from Maine STEM professionals.  We seek to enrich the existing Vine Street science curriculum and encourage student aspirations to continue in STEM fields pertaining to aquaculture in Maine.

Fall 2015 – Present

Collaboration with Gene Felice (UMaine), Aaron Strong (UMaine), Sarah Schindler (USM School of Law), Celeste Roberge (UFlorida-Gainesville), and Stephen Moore (UTexas-Austin). This group is pursuing an art/science/social justice project.

Fall 2013 – Winter 2016, continued collaborations (present)

Maine Economic Improvement Fund –Small Campus Initiative grant. Collaboration with Brian Beal (UMaine-Machias) and Ken Dunton (UTexas-Austin). This opportunity has allowed opportunities for MMA/UTexas-Austin/UMaine-Machias students to become involved with the research.

January, 2011 – Present

Partnered with Maine SeaGrant and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in their Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program to include the rockweed, Ascophyllum nodosum as an indicator species. Research involves documenting the seasonality of reproduction and assessing age and growth rate of individual A. nodosum plants in coastal Maine.

May, 2009 – Present

Collaboration with Dr. Karen Pelletreau (University of Maine, Orono).  We are investigating the natural history of the Elysia chlorotica and Vaucheria compacta in the Northwestern Atlantic. We co-advised Arthur Duncanson (MMA, class of 2010).