The University Libraries is very pleased to announce its first lecture of the fall 2022 STEM Speaker Series presented by Dr. Christopher Gobler, Endowed Chair of Coastal Ecology and Conservation and Professor from School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.
- Date: Monday, September 26, 2022
- Time: 4:00PM-5:00PM
- Location: Special Collections Seminar Room, E-2340
- Register here!
Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a significant threat to coastal ecosystems, fisheries, and public health, and the fraction of the US coastline experiencing HABs significantly increased from 1990 to 2020. While the ecophysiology of HABs has been studied for decades, a comprehensive understanding of these events has been limited by their complex nature whereby the causative species exists within a diverse plankton community. While deciphering the response of an individual HAB, therefore, represents a ‘needle in the haystack’ problem, the use of molecular tools has facilitated a series of key discoveries regarding HABs during the past decade. Using the brown tide-causing picoplanktonic pelagophyte, Aureococcus anophagefferens, as a model HAB, genome sequencing and the use of transcriptomics has yielded a series of key insights regarding how this species interacts with its environment and other organisms to form HABs. This talk will highlight the dynamic nature of the transcriptional response of the brown tide alga over the course of HABs and how the environmental factors controlling blooms change during bloom initiation, peak, and decline. Observational and experimental data will also be presented regarding the manner in which specific gene sets may be activated to cause harm to predators, allowing blooms to further proliferate.
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