Ph. D., University of Maine, Zoology, 1989
M.S., University of New Hampshire, Microbiology, 1985
B.A., University of New Hampshire, Microbiology, Minor: Zoology, 1983
A.S. George Washington University, Medical Laboratory Science, 1977
Biological Oceanography, Physiological Ecology, Marine Biology, Marine Microbiology, General Microbiology, Immunology, Biology and Ecology of Coral Reefs
Current Research Interests
My principal focus involve understanding how taxonomically diverse marine organisms respond physiologically to changes in their environment. In particular I'm interested in how organismal physiology can influence the ecology of marine organisms. As a physiological ecologist my students and I answer these types of questions by utilizing field and laboratory experiments, as well as a wide range of techniques from molecular biology to in situ measurements. Currently my research encompasses four major areas;
1) Biochemistry and molecular genetics of oxidative stress in marine organisms associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation, elevated temperatures, or hyperoxic conditions.
2) Physiological ecology of marine invertebrates and phytoplankton, physiological responses to changes in the environment, bacterial- and algal-invertebrate symbioses, and the trophic biology of suspension-feeding invertebrates.
3) Ecology and photobiology of mesophotic coral reefs.
4) Underwater technology, use of technical diving for scientific research.
Lesser MP. Using Energetic Budgets to Assess the Effects of Environmental Stress on Corals: Are We Measuring the Right Things? Coral Reefs, 32: 25-33, 2013.
Brazeau, D., M. P. Lesser, and M. Slattery. Genome-wide Sampling of Genetic Structure in the Coral, Montastraea cavernosa: Assessing Population Connectivity Among Mesophotic Reefs. PLoS ONE, 8(5): e65845, 2013.
Lesser, M. P., Stat, M., and R. D. Gates. The Endosymbiotic Din
Affiliations and Expertise
University of New Hampshire, USA