The BU Marine Program Faculty started this lecture series in honor of Fred Lang, an invertebrate physiologist. Fred Lang’s work followed themes of cardiac and neuromuscular physiology, blended uniquely with developmental neurobiology in lobsters. Teaching was always an important activity for Fred, and even after obtaining a Career Development Award, he continued it enthusiastically. He was a key figure in the Boston University Marine Program at Woods Hole and his legacy is carried on through this annual lecture.

The 2023 Lang Lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 12.

The 2023 Fred Lang Memorial Lecturer is Dr. Gretchen Hoffman.

Dr. Gretchen Hofmann is a Professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara, and is currently the Interim Director of the Marine Science Institute.  As a marine biologist, her research focuses on the responses of marine species to future ocean change such as ocean acidification and ocean warming. Working in places as diverse as the coastal oceans of California and Antarctica, Prof. Hofmann and her lab group are trying to understand whether and how marine species can adapt to environmental change in the ocean.  Dr. Hofmann is especially engaged with climate change-facing research in California. Her research group has been studying the impacts of ocean acidification and marine heatwaves on ecologically and economically important marine invertebrates.  She is a co-PI on the Santa Barbara Coastal Long-term Ecological Research project (SBC LTER), a research group at UC Santa Barbara that explores the health of kelp forests. Her work in the SBC LTER examines potential mechanisms of resistance and tolerance to thermal stress from marine heatwaves, along the biological consequences of marine heatwaves. The Hofmann research group focuses on bringing diverse scholars into ocean science, via graduate training and through working with undergraduates in programs such as FUERTE, a project designed to bring under-represented undergraduates into research via inclusive mentoring and direct experience in research. Her work in ocean global change biology has been recognized by the larger research community – Prof. Hofmann was a U.S. Fulbright Fellow to New Zealand to study the impacts of marine heatwaves on aquaculture and she was a UC Climate Action Champion at UCSB.  Professor Hofmann has contributed her expertise in climate science and coastal oceans in many ways. She has served as the Executive Co-Chair of the Science Advisory Team (OPC-SAT) for the California Ocean Protection Council. She has served as a U.S. delegate to the IPCC Workshop on Ocean Acidification in Okinawa Japan. Nationally, Prof. Hofmann contributed to the National Research Council’s report and recommendations on ocean acidification policy, and she was a Lead Author on Chapter 24, Oceans and Marine Resources, in the Third National Climate Assessment.

Currently, there are five main research projects in the Hofmann Lab

  • Macrophysology in the marine environment: Are species more physiologically stressed at the extremes of their biogeographic range?
  • Environmental genomics: Using DNA microarrays to map patterns of gene expression onto species range in the marine environment
  • Gene expression profiling & cold adaptation: Comparisons of gene expression in Antarctic and New Zealand notothenioid fishes
  • Larval physiology: Examining thermotolerance of marine invertebrate larvae from a biogeographical perspective
    Temperature stress physiology of corals (


Previous Lecturers include:

Dr. Heidi Sosik, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Rocky Geyer, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Dr. Steve Palumbi, Stanford University, Hopkins Marine Station

Dr. Carl Safina, Stony Brook University and the Safina Center

Dr. Bernd Budelman, University of Texas, Biomedical Research Institute of Galveston

Dr. Irene Pepperberg, University of Arizona, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Dr. Charles Stevens, Salk Institute for Biological Studies (La Jolla, California)

Dr. Nicholas Strausfield, University of Arizona, Department of Entomology, Neurobiology, Anatomy, Ecology, and Evolutionary Biology

Dr. Even Marder, Brandeis University, Department of Biology (Modulation of Neural Networks)