Since its founding in 1965, the Darling Marine Center in Walpole
(part of South Bristol) has been an active center of marine research, education, and community engagement and outreach. In addition to supporting university research and education, the DMC also actively engages with fishermen, aquaculture entrepreneurs, and other marine industry professionals and community members through collaborative research, workforce development, and business incubation programs.
As the University of Maine’s marine laboratory, the DMC’s mission is to connect people to the ocean by generating and sharing knowledge about coastal and marine ecosystems and the human communities that are part of them.
An international leader in marine conservation science, Heather Leslie conducts research on the ecology, policy, and management of coastal marine ecosystems. Heather is Director of the University of Maine’s marine laboratory, Darling Marine Center, and Professor of Marine Sciences in UMaine’s School of Marine Sciences.
She studies the drivers of ecological and social processes in marine systems, and how to more effectively connect science to policy and management. Specific research areas include coastal marine ecology; human-environment linkages, particularly those related to coastal areas; and the design and evaluation of marine management strategies. Leslie’s work has appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.
A member of the University of Maine faculty since August 2015, Heather Leslie received an A.B. in Biology from Harvard University, a Ph.D. in Zoology from Oregon State University, and conducted postdoctoral research at Princeton University. Before arriving at UMaine, she was on the faculty at Brown University, as the inaugural Peggy and Henry D. Sharpe Assistant Professor. She is a Leopold Leadership Fellow and is originally from Plymouth, Massachusetts. Heather lives by the Damariscotta River in Newcastle, Maine, with her two children and husband, microbial ecologist Jeremy Rich.