Announcements‎ > ‎

Marine scientist Stephan Zeeman presents 2009 Ludcke Lecture on his career researching phytoplankton Dec. 8

posted Dec 2, 2009, 3:49 AM by
Stephan Zeeman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the department of marine sciences and 2009-10 Ludcke Chair of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will deliver the second annual Ludcke Lecture at UNE on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009.

Entitled, “What a strange trip it's been: Or how I learned to love phytoplankton,” the lecture will take place at 4:00 p.m. in the St. Francis Room of the Jack S. Ketchum Library on University of New England’s Biddeford Campus.

Professor Zeeman's presentation will detail his career in scholarly activity that has focused on understanding processes in nature. He will review the evolution of his thought and focus from terrestrial landscapes to lakes and oceans, and finally to the intersection of land and sea.

In the process, Professor Zeeman will discuss his research on phytoplankton (microscopic algae) and their photosynthesis as it relates to ecosystems and food webs within them. The importance of phytoplankton stems from the fact that an estimated 73 to 87 percent of the net global production of oxygen is derived from algal photosynthesis. They are also the base of most food webs in the oceans, and thus may control the viability of those webs to maintain themselves.

The Ludcke Chair

In 2004, Eleanor Ludcke, 1926 Westbrook College alumnae, bequeathed to Westbrook College an endowed professorship to be awarded annually to a tenured member of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Ludcke Chair has two components: a one-year tenure as chair holder, allowing many faculty members in the UNE College of Arts and Science to be recognized for their high achievement as a teacher/scholar, and a stipend for the chair holder to use in support of his or her scholarship.  The chair holder must be a dedicated educator and productive researcher who has given generously of his time to the University of New England over a significant period. 


Professor Zeeman joined the UNE faculty in 1986 and rose to the rank of full professor.  He is a widely published oceanographer who has received numerous grants from NASA, NOAA and National Science Foundation and has participated in many research cruises around the world.  Most recently, together with UNE professors Susan Hillman and Charles Tilburg, Professor Zeeman was awarded $2.8 million from NSF in support of UNE’s graduate program in biology and marine biology. 

His expertise is in oceanography, phytoplankton, primary production, remote sensing, geographic information systems and Bering Sea ecosystems.  Zeeman’s current research focuses on food web dynamics, phytoplankton production, and the effects of climate change and land use on land-sea interactions.