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2016 Speakers & Workshops

The 2016 plenary talk is from 3:00pm to 4:00pm in the Meyerhoff Building and will be presented by, Dr. Colleen Burge

Host-Pathogen Interactions in a Changing Ocean: from Disease Emergence to Solutions?”

Disease is a natural part of healthy marine ecosystems, however, the number and severity of marine diseases is increasing and has been linked to climate change and other anthropogenic factors. We often have a poor understanding of causative agents and infection dynamics. This baseline information is critical to assess the synergisms between human drivers and disease outbreaks, and ultimately better manage disease outbreaks. Disease emergence and epizootics have the capacity to alter both natural and aquaculture-based systems. I will emphasize two host-pathogen systems we are currently focused on in my laboratory: Ostreid herpesvirus 1 infections in Pacific oysters and Labyrinthula infections of eelgrass, Zostera marina. I will discuss aspects of each host-pathogen relationship including pathogen discovery, diagnostics, and spread as well as potential disease management strategies.


Dr. Colleen Burge is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology with dual appointments at University of Maryland ColleenBurgeBaltimore County (UMBC), Department of Marine Biotechnology and the University of Maryland Baltimore, Department of Immunology & Microbiology. Colleen is a native to the US West Coast where she grew up on the shores of Hood Canal learning marine ecology from a young age. Colleen received her BS (2002) and PhD (2010) in Aquatic & Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. Colleen held two postdoctoral positions; her first was in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and the second in the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. Colleen’s research program, the “Aquatic Animal Health lab” focuses on marine host-pathogen-environment interactions including disease ecology, organismal physiology and immunology, and development of disease diagnostics. Members of the Aquatic Animal Health lab focus on both temperate and tropical host-pathogen systems, answering both fundamental questions in microbial ecology as well as disease management strategies in a changing ocean. Colleen enjoys mentoring and interacting with students of diverse backgrounds including high school, undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate. Colleen is a member of the NSF funded Research Coordination Network “RCN: Evaluating the impacts of a changing ocean in management and ecology of infectious marine disease.” In 2016, Colleen was a recipient of a UMBC summer faculty fellowship and an Ifremer (Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer) Scientist Fellowship to conduct collaborative research in conjunction with Ifremer scientists on “Biomarkers of disease resistance to an oyster killing virus.”



Master the Art of Making Connections

UC 310, University Center, 3rd Floor                    10:30 am – 11:30 am & 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

 In the world of science, we communicate with others many times throughout our day. Effective communication in STEM is crucial and is more than just exchanging information. Effective communication combines a set of skills including non-verbal communication, attentive listening, and the ability to respond appropriately. How well you communicate will determine the impression you make and how others understand your work.  It may influence funding and many other opportunities.  This workshop is designed to help you learn effective communication skills and how they can advance your professional image as a scientist.

A Very, Very Short Introduction to Ethics for Scientists

  CASTLE, UC 115, University Center, 1st Floor
10:30 am – 11:30 am & 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

This workshop will provide a basic overview of the two dominant approaches to thinking about ethical problems. You’ll then have a chance to apply these approaches to ethical dilemmas and problems, including some of the sort that might arise specifically for scientists.






Susan Hindle is the Assistant Director, Internships, and Employment for the Career Center at UMBC.

Career_Center_Headshot_2016 (2)Susan has 20 years’ experience working with students and alumni in all phases of the career development process.  Prior to coming to UMBC in January 2014, Susan worked as a Career Advisor for the both The Johns Hopkins University and the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.  Susan has her undergraduate degree in elementary education from the University of Maryland, College Park and her master’s degree in clinical counseling from The Johns Hopkins University.









James Thomas is an Adjunct Faculty Lecturer in the Department of Philosophy at UMBC.

JimThomas 1573Jim received a B.A. with honors from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a major in philosophy.  He went on to get a Masters degree in philosophy at the University of Arkansas where he received the Philip S. Bashor Award for outstanding graduate student.  He earned a second M.A. in philosophy at the University of Washington in Seattle. He is currently a lecturer in the Philosophy Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he has been teaching for the last fifteen years.  He has also taught courses at the University of Arkansas and the University of Maryland, College Park . His research is focused on Metaphysics, Evolutionary Theory and Philosophy of Humor, and Philosophy of Perception.






Past Speakers & Workshops