Michèle LaVigne

Michèle 2Dr. Michèle LaVigne is an Assistant Professor of Earth and Oceanographic Science at Bowdoin College. In the words of some of her students, she is an “excellent professor who prioritizes teaching and mentoring while also conducting new and exciting research. She has a great sense of humor and a calming presence that make her easy to work with and learn from. Her passion for her work is clear, but she also skillfully balances her time between work and home. It is always enjoyable to walk into her office, where her door is almost always open (except for when she is focused on writing!). She is a great role model for young women in science.”

Michèle drilling corals in the Florida Keys
Michèle drilling corals in the Florida Keys

Michèle’s research is focused on marine biogeochemistry and paleoceanography with a focus on rapid climate change. She explores how global climate change has affected marine biogeochemical cycling in the recent past using corals and how it will impact ocean acidification and marine biological responses in the future. With her students at Bowdoin, Michèle is currently carrying out research projects on California deep sea corals and the impact of ocean acidification on coastal Maine ecosystems. As an educator, Michèle’s goal is to teach scientific curiosity. She aims for students to leave her courses with the ability to think critically about Earth’s processes and apply the scientific method to ocean and climate issues impacting their own lives. Michèle explains, “I find teaching and mentoring undergraduate students to be incredibly rewarding. I discovered research as a student at Hampshire College, and I am now fortunate to share this discovery with my own students at Bowdoin.”

“I have been inspired by my mentors and colleagues at every stage of my career: from my undergraduate work at Hampshire College, Ph.D. at Rutgers University, postdoc at UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab, and my current home in the Earth and Oceanographic Science department at Bowdoin. I am grateful for the encouragement of my family; especially my husband who has always provided support and humor and was willing to move across the US with me twice within three years so that I could follow this career path.  We are now settled in Maine where we enjoy getting outdoors with our 16 month old son and two dogs.”

 

Visiting the "library of mud" at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with Bowdoin summer research students
Visiting the “library of mud” at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with Bowdoin summer research students
Michèle (center) with Bowdoin students (left) and collaborators from the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (right) after a day of sampling on the clam flats of Phippsburg, ME
Michèle (center) with Bowdoin students (left) and collaborators from the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (right) after a day of sampling on the clam flats of Phippsburg, ME