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Climate Change Institute

Andrew Pershing

Associate Professor

Andrew Pershing

Contact Information


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Gulf of Maine Research Institute
350 Commercial St. 
Portland, ME  04101


The primary focus of  my research is to understand what stimulates the Gulf of Maine ecosystem to change from one year to the next. I have examined how conditions in the Labrador Sea impact plankton communities in the Gulf of Maine which subsequently lead to changes in populations of fish and whales. I also have a strong interest in computer science and modeling.  Presently, I'm developing computer models that reconstruct and forecast changes in zooplankton in the Gulf of Maine. I am leading a project utilizing satellite data and models to predict the location of endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of Maine. In addition to my position in the School of Marine Sciences, I am a Research Scientist at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland.  More detailed and current information on my activities can be found at the Seascape Modeling website and on my lab's blog.

Research interests

For the most up-to-date description of my projects, please check out my lab's blog.  Broadly, I'm interested in


  • climate variability and change (especially, the connection between the Labrador Sea and Gulf of Maine)
  • physical-biological interactions (especially, how changes in circulation and stratification affect plankton)
  • zooplankton ecology (especially, copepods)
  • computer modeling, (especially ensemble methods, e.g. genetic algorithm, ensemble Kalman filter)
  • whales (especially, right whales, but wrong whales are OK) 


If you are interested in working in my lab, as either a summer intern, graduate student, or technician, here some of the skills I look for


  • experience programming in any language (Matlab and C are my favorites)
  • math through calculus, but hopefully linear algebra and differential equations
  • statistics

Most importantly, I'm most interested in working with people who will bring a unique set of skills or point of view to our ongoing work.


B.S. Brown University, Ph. D. Cornell University

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