ImageGraham Shimmield, Executive Director and President of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay, will be our speaker on May 1st. He has enjoyed a fascinating career in ocean exploration. His topic will be: "Tiny Giants of the Ocean."

Graham graduated from the University of Durham in 1981 with a degree in Geology, and received a Ph.D. in Marine Geochemistry from the University of Edinburgh in 1985. He was appointed to a tenured faculty position as Lecturer in Chemical Oceanography in 1984, and promoted to Reader in 1995. In 1996, he was appointed Director of Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) at the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory on the north coast of Scotland, a post he held for 12 years. During this period, he helped create the new University of the Highlands and Islands, chairing the research program.

From 1995-8 he served on the international scientific steering committee of the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study, and several major UK and European science programs, Whilst at SAMS, he developed the Northern Seas program, establishing the institution’s reputation in Arctic oceanography, and was a member of the UK International Polar Year Committee. He was also Chairman of the European Census of Marine Life Program, the regional contribution to the international CoML program, from 2004-8.

Graham has served on many strategic European national and international committees, including the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Science Strategy Board. He has been President and vice-president of the European Federation of Marine Science and Technology Societies (EFMS) and has had significant involvement in marine biotechnology as the Managing Director of the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology, and Chairman of the Board of GlycoMar Ltd, a small biotech start-up. Currently, Graham is a Chairman of the joint industry Scientific Advisory Board examining the challenges of decommissioning oil and gas installation in the North Sea.

In 2000, Graham was awarded the title of Honorary Professor at the University of St Andrews. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1998), and the Society of Biology (1999). He has published over 65 scientific peer-reviewed articles.

Since arriving in Maine, Graham has been serving on the boards of the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board, Maine Space Grant and Maine Sea Grant, as well as advisory boards for Maine Maritime Academy and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. In February 2013 he was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. In November 2011, Graham was named by MaineBiz as one of ten “Nexters” helping to shape the future of Maine’s economy. In December 2014, Graham was the recipient of the Society for Underwater Technology President’s Award in recognition of his contributions to oceanography. He was unable to receive the award in person since at the time of the ceremony, he was 3,000 meters below the surface of the ocean, engaged in research.