May 12, 2016
Press Release - LUMCON
New LUMCON Executive Director Selected
Baton Rouge, LA- The Louisiana Board of Regents in conjunction with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) Executive Board is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Craig McClain as the new Executive Director of LUMCON. McClain serves as the Deputy Director of the Triangle Center for Evolution Medicine and formerly the Assistant Director of Science at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center both at Duke University where he oversaw the center’s science programs.
“I am honored and humbled to serve as the new Executive Director” said McClain. “The next five years represent a promising era for the consortium and I am excited to build upon LUMCON’s accomplishments. I am confident that the staff, faculty, and partners are well poised and enthusiastic about capitalizing on new opportunities to grow and strengthen LUMCON and marine sciences in Louisiana.”
Regarded as a nationally recognized marine biologist/ecologist, McClain brings more than 20 years of experience in oceanographic research and has published more than 50 articles which have greatly contributed to this field of study. McClain’s research primarily centers on marine systems, and particularly the biology of body size, biodiversity, and energy flow focusing often on the deep sea. He has conducted numerous experiments and studies in some of the most remote regions of the world.
“Dr. McClain has a strong record as an advocate and leader in science and research,” said Board of Regents Commissioner, Dr. Joseph C. Rallo. “This is an important time for LUMCON, as the agency works to realign its mission, strengthen its effectiveness, and achieve fiscal sustainability. I believe that Dr. McClain possesses the necessary skills to lead this positive transformation and we look forward to working with him.”
McClain believes in the power of scientific communication. He serves as a social media trainer and a consultant for scientists, providing insight on best practices to effectively engage the public with scientific information.
McClain is also the founder and chief editor of Deep-Sea News (DSN), a top-rated ocean themed blog and social media network which has been featured in both local and national media outlets including Science Illustrated, Charlotte Observer, MSNBC, Fox News, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. McClain has served as a consultant to ABC News, Wired, Talk Nation Radio, Forbes, and National Public Radio. His work has also appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review.
He is no stranger to Louisiana or LUMCON, as his career as a marine biologist began during his undergraduate participation in a LUMCON summer course.
"On behalf of the LUMCON Executive Board, I am delighted with the appointment of Dr. McClain as the new Executive Director. His leadership experience and his vision for the future of LUMCON gives us confidence in the continued success of this important asset for Louisiana,” said LUMCON Executive Board Chair, Dr. Laura S. Levy. "I am also grateful to my colleague, Dr. Neal Weaver of Nicholls State University, for his dedication and outstanding service as Search Committee Chair."
McClain’s employment begins July 1, 2016.
The Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) was formed in 1979 to increase society's awareness of the environmental, economic and cultural value of Louisiana's coastal and marine environments by conducting research and education programs directly relevant to Louisiana's needs in marine science and coastal resources and serving as a facility for all Louisiana schools with interest in marine research and education.