UMF Trustee Professorship Symposium is a day to honor the value of scholarly and creative endeavor at UMF. Toward that end, we have chosen Symposium as an opportunity, to not only showcase the work of our students, but also to bestow the university’s most prestigious award for scholarship to a faculty member. The Trustee Professorship is given each year to one UMF faculty member in recognition of her/his distinguished record of scholarly or creative work. The Trustee Professor receives a cash stipend, a professional development allowance, and a half-time reassignment for an academic year in order to focus on a scholarly or creative project. Each year at Symposium we invite the current Trustee Professor to deliver a public presentation.

2023-24 Trustee Professor:  Dr. Timothy Breton

Dr. Timothy Breton is a fish physiologist with expertise in reproductive development and applications to fisheries and aquaculture (fish farming). His research efforts have focused on understanding reproduction in several commercially important species, including Atlantic cod, black sea bass, summer flounder, and alewives. Dr. Breton also utilizes many modern molecular techniques to understand egg development, sex change, and sex differentiation in fishes, including quantitative PCR (qPCR) and genomics approaches. He has interests in all things related to fish or molecular biology, and is always looking to apply modern genetic techniques to new ecological or physiological questions.

2023-2024 Trustee Professor Lecture

Immediately before the Trustee talk, the 2024 Walter Sargent Undergraduate Research Mentorship recipient will be announced.

Title: Shining lights on genes and making maps with a microscope

Dr. Timothy Breton

Many genes in us are poorly understood, despite decades of research and potential in medicine or commercial applications.  One such gene family, termed SREB, comprises a few members that are present at high levels in the brain and gonads and are associated with several disorders.  There may also be some potential to leverage these genes as a reproductive aid.  However, very little is known about SREB functions and where inside each organ the genes are produced.  Since SREBs are highly similar between fish and humans, our research group is using a variety of fish species as a model to better understand them.  Armed with modern research techniques such as confocal microscopy and color-tagged molecules, we are mapping precisely where SREBs are located inside the gonads of pufferfish.  This information provides new insights into the gene family that can be used to aid future research and commercial applications.  Detailed images showing genes in fluorescent colors will be highlighted, along with work on the project being done by UMF student researchers and local high school students and teachers.  This work is conducted in collaboration with the University of Florida, University of Liège, and the University of Tübingen, and funding is provided by the National Science Foundation Physiological Mechanisms and Biomechanics Program and EPSCoR (#2307614).    


Past UMF Trustee Professors

Spring 1999 – Mark McPherran 1999 – 2000 – Ronald Butler

2000 – 2001 – Jennifer Reid

2001 – 2002 – Chris Magri

2002 – 2003 – Dan Gunn

2003 – 2004 – Ming-Ming Pu

2004 – 2005 – David Daniel

2005 – 2006 – Mike Muir

2006 – 2007 – Tiane Donahue

2007 – 2008 – Paul Outka

2008 – 2009 – Drew Barton

2009 – 2010 – David Gibson

2010 – 2011 – Jeffrey Thompson

2011 – 2012 – Eric Brown

2012 – 2013 – Gretchen Legler

2014 – 2015 – Allison Hepler

2015 –2016 – Patricia O’Donnell

2016 – 2017 – Nic Koban

2017 – 2018 – Jonathan Cohen

2018 – 2019 – Michael Johnson

2019 – 2020 – Steven Pane

2020 – 2021 – Kristen Case

2021 – 2022 – Nicole Kellett

2022 – 2023 – Cara Furman