Saturday, April 14, 2012
Dr. Andrew DeVogelaere (Moderator),
Human development is the primary cause of species extinctions globally yet we know surprisingly little about how to develop in ways that limit the extinction of the most vulnerable species: top predators. Long considered vermin, top predators are now recognized as keystone species, who often keep other important components of an ecosystem from unraveling. In this talk, I will present preliminary results and insights from the first 3 years of the Santa Cruz Puma Project, an effort by wildlife ecologists, animal physiologists and electrical engineers to understand the impacts of human development on the physiology, behavior, ecology and conservation of wild mountain lions.
Sick and tired of hearing about Kim Kardashian?
Dr. Woutrina Miller
Fecal pathogen pollution comes from many sources in coastal watersheds, and may be transported overland during storm events and in rivers downstream to the sea. Both point and non-point fecal sources contribute to fecal pathogen pollution, some related to humans and others coming from domestic animals and wildlife. The sea otter acts as a sentinel species in coastal ecosystems, acting as a canary in the coalmine for disturbances that may start subtlety but which can disturb the balance of species and health. The stories of researchers, animals, and pathogens discussed in Dr. Miller's presentation will highlight linkages and issues relevant to a broad audience, and will provide opportunities for discussion about how interdisciplinary research and conservation can be undertaken using both controlled laboratory studies paired with complementary fieldwork and modeling to understand the flow of pathogens from land to sea. The role of resource managers, stakeholders, and policy makers is also critical, to implement longer-term change once useful interventions are identified to reduce pathogen pollution and associated health risks for people and animals that live or recreate in coastal ecosystems. This research approach is an example of One Health in action, with veterinarians, ecologists, biologists, epidemiologists, and stakeholders working together to address issues of importance to humans, animals, and the environment in California.
Dr. James Lindholm
The subitidal zone of the MBNMS encompasses a rich diversity of organisms and habitats, from kelp forests to deep sea canyons. Successful management of these exceptional resources depends first on an understanding of where organisms live and why, and second on how they are distributed relative to the boundaries of spatial management areas. Since 2007, CSU Monterey Bay's Institute for Applied Marine Ecology (IfAME) has been working with the MBNMS, as well as the state, environmental groups, and the fishing community, to characterize seafloor communities from Point Arena to La Jolla Cove, including many locations within the MBNMS. Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and towed video camera sleds have been used to collect videographic and still photographic imagery of organisms and their habitats in water depths ranging from 20 m to 400 m, providing a permanent archive of imagery on California's continental shelf.
Dr. Steven Haddock
The ability of an organism to produce light seems like magic, but it is common in the sea, where luminescence is used by everything from bacteria and jellies to fish and squid. Animals use light to avoid predators and find prey and mates, but this realm of flashes, sparkles, and glows is difficult to observe and study, so there are many discoveries yet to be made. This presentation will show experiments and images from some of Monterey Bay's bioluminescent organisms and discuss their elaborate adaptations to life in the dark. Hollywood's aliens are bland compared with the diversity found in the sea just off our shores.