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Dr. Brian Beal
Director of Research

Dr. Brian Beal Dr. Beal is a professor of marine ecology at the University of Maine at Machias. His position at UMM is divided eqully between teaching and research, and includes his work at DEI.  Also, Dr. Beal is the director of UMM's Marine Field Station at Black Duck Cove.

A native of Jonesport, Maine, Dr. Beal graduated from UMM in 1979 with a B.S. degree in biology and went on to earn an M.S. degree in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He obtained his Ph.D. in marine bio-resources from the University of Maine, Orono.

Dr. Beal was instrumental in establishing Maine’s first lobster hatchery in the town of Cutler in 1986. He worked with clammers and shellfish committees in six Washington County towns to create Maine’s first public clam hatchery in 1987 known as the Beals Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery. Dr. Beal is known for his work with soft-shell clams throughout the eastern U.S. and Canada. He was a 2000-2001 Fulbright scholar at the National University of Ireland, Galway where he worked with Irish fishermen and researchers on ocean-based lobster nurseries. 

His most recent applied research projects include work with sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus), hard clams (Mercenaria mercenaria), Arctic surf clams (Mactromeris polynyma), and the interactions between soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) and green crabs (Carcinus maenas).

Dr. Beal can be reached at UMM at (207) 255-1314 or online at


George Protopopescu
Assistant Director of the Marine Field Station

George is a 2005 graduate of the University of Maine at Machias (UMM), where he majored in marine biology. A native of Romania, George also holds a B.S. degree in European Studies from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania.  In May 2014, George received a Master of Science (M.S.) degree from the University of Maine in Marine BioResources. His thesis work examined the relationship between cultured blue mussel pediveligers and the substrate they settle onto in a hatchery environment.  He conducted his research at DEI.

As Assistant Director of UMM's Marine Field Station, George oversees DEI’s Black Duck Cove shellfish hatchery, supervises hatchery workers, and work-study students the Institute employs during the summer production season. He is responsible for all aspects of the hatchery program including soft-shell clam production and seed orders, technical support for current research projects and outreach to local fishermen.

George can be reached at DEI’s Black Duck Cove shellfish production hatchery at  (207) 497-5769, or by e-mail at


Kyle Pepperman -- Field and Laboratory Technician

Kyle Pepperman graduated from the University of Maine at Machias in May 2009 with a B.S. degree in Marine Biology.  He minored in chemistry.  Kyle is from Williamsburg, Pennsylvania.  He is currently working to raise soft-shell clams for research, outreach, and stock enhancement purposes.  In addition, he is responsible for the hatchery work on blue mussel broodstock conditioning, larval-rearing, and post-larval production associated with a 2-yr project funded through the National Science Foundation. 

Cody Jourdet -- Marine Shellfish/Ecology Technician

Cody is a 2010 graduate of the University of Maine at Machias with a B.A. degree in Biology and a B.S. degree in Marine Biology.  Cody is from Friendship and Waldoboro, Maine.  He worked for three years as a field/laboratory assistant for Dr. Beal surveying the soft-bottom intertidal community of Cobscook Bay.  He is currently involved in two culture projects at DEI working with Arctic surfclams, Mactomeris polynyma, and sea scallops, Placopecten magellanicus.  Cody's work with Arctic surfclams is funded through a 2-yr grant from the National Science Foundation.


Colleen Haskell -- Curriculum Development & Organization

Colleen has graced DEI with her charm, spirit, and wisdom since 2011. She is working with the DEI board to create a hands-on, inquiry-based K-12 curriculum that focuses on the local marine environment with the goal of stimulating student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields and careers.  She has been the driving force for the success of the Clam Project, teacher workshops, special "marine science days" for coastal classes, and lesson plans that help give teachers confidence to take students to the shore and to bring the shore to their students.  Colleen brings a lifetime of teaching and administrative experience to her curriculum development activities.  Most recently, she served as superintendent of schools for the Moosabec Community School District.  She served as principal of Jonesport-Beals High School (JBHS), and before that taught English at JBHS.  We are so pleased that she is working with us!

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