Maine magazine recently selected Dr. Brian Beal as one of the “50 Mainers Creating a Brighter Future”. Each year the magazine recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the state.
A native of Jonesport, Dr. Brian Beal has been a Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Maine at Machias(UMM) for 30 years. He is a pioneer of soft-shell clam culture and his work established the state’s first public shellfish hatchery in Beals in 1987. This hatchery is now the non-profit Downeast Institute (DEI).
Dr. Beal’s vision was to build DEI into a world-class marine research institution. His vision was realized last year when DEI completed a large facilities expansion to improve the hatchery, laboratories and dormitory. Due to his perseverance, DEI is now the easternmost marine research institution and education center in the United States.
Applied field research led by Dr. Beal continues to provide important information about the marine environment. For example, he recently discovered that southern Maine’s soft-shell clam decline is caused by increased predation driven by warmer water temperatures. In addition, Dr. Beal’s 30-year data-set on clam growth and survival in eastern Maine will be invaluable in understanding the effects of climate change in the region.
Dr. Beal continues to teach and mentor students of all ages, transferring his knowledge to the next generation.
Check out the June 2019 edition of Maine to read his profile.