Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Professor Charles Yarish received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University (1976) and then joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut (1976) where he is in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and The Department of Marine Sciences. At The University, he developed an internationally known laboratory for seaweed research and has been a leader in seaweed aquaculture. He is most interested in the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) where seaweeds are a key extractive component. He has published extensively including two co-edited books entitled "Economically Important Marine Plants of the Atlantic: Their Biology and Cultivation" and also "Seaweeds-Their Environment, Biogeography and Ecophysiology." He is a co-editor on “Long Island Sound: Prospects for the Urban Sea” to be published in 2013 by Springer. He has also been an adjunct Professor of Marine Sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, visiting Scientist at the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Germany, a visiting Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and most recently, a Guest Professor at Shanghai Fisheries University, China. He has served with many organizations including the International Executive Service Corps' Aquacultural Project (Kenya), member of the Organizing Committee & the Executive Secretariat for the Vth International Phycological Congress, Qingdao, China and The Advisory Board of the Institute of BioSciences (Halifax), National Research Council of Canada. Prof. Yarish received the 1992 Marinalg Award's First Prize at the XIVth International Seaweed Symposium, Brittany, France for his work in East Africa (Kenya) judged to be the most useful to the economic development of the world seaweed industry. He has also been a national lecturer, the elected secretary, member of the Phycological of America’s Executive Committee and President (2001). He has been an invited participant in many international invited symposia and meetings in Canada, Chile, Cuba, Germany, Ireland, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, The Netherlands and the USA, which have dealt with the ecophysiology and biogeography of seaweeds, as well as the development of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) and nutrient bioextraction systems. Prof. Yarish has also ventured beyond is primary interests in seaweeds into a multi-team effort to conduct the first, comprehensive, seasonal field study of the microbial loop in Long Island Sound. That avenue of research demonstrated that human-induced nutrient loading coupled with intense fishing pressure and habitat destruction have literally altered the food web of Long Island Sound. Prof. Yarish and his co-workers, have also discovered the need to re-visit the systematics of one of the best studied species of seaweeds, Porphyra. His energy levels has enabled him to promote the use of molecular techniques for resolving questions of concerning the systematics and biogeography of Porphyra and promoted this economic seaweed as a new experimental system. He has developed collaborative studies with other colleagues at the University of New Hampshire to use the analysis of plastid DNA by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), the sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS 1 and ITS 2) and the intervening 5.8S ribosomal nuclear DNA region for understanding Porphyra. Most recently Yarish is a founding member of the Steering Committee of the RCN of the NSF sponsored “Porphyra as a Model System” that is being lead by Dr. S. Brawley (University of Maine). The RCN interfaces with the Porphyra genome project that is being sponsored by the Joint Genome Institute (US DOE) and NSF. He has been an active participant in the construction of a Wikipedia website for the Porphyra genome project. Prof. Yarish was the elected Co-Chairman of the Science Technical Advisory Committee for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Long Island Sound Study (1992-2010) and has assisted the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce on matters dealing with aquaculture in the People's Republic of China, South Korea and Japan. At The University of Connecticut he is a member of the Oversight Committee for the Center of Globalization and Commerce. Among other memberships in many professional societies, he is also a member of the Advisory Board for the City of Bridgeport's Regional Aquaculture Science and Technology Education Center (BRASTEC). Prof. Yarish was an invited member on the scientific advisory committee of a national panel called the “Sustainable Seafood Forum,” Aquarium of the Pacific, Marine Conservation Research Institute, Long Beach, California. He has been a co-principal investigator numerous grants award by the National, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Sea Grant College Programs, The US Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, as well as The States of Connecticut and New York. In August, 2007 he was the recipient of The 2007 Faculty Recognition Award, which recognizes sustained outstanding achievements in teaching, research and services benefiting University of Connecticut at Stamford. In 2008, Prof. Yarish was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Science & Engineering. In 2012, Prof. Yarish received the Provost Award from The University of Connecticut for Public Engagement and Outreach. On June 12, 2013, he and his colleague, Dr. Jang K. Kim, received the Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovation Prize acknowledging his UCONN’s Marine Biotechnology Effort in establishing a seaweed industry in Long Island Sound. A video and story may be found on the UCONN Today website (http://bit.ly/17XT7jx).