Evenings at Whitney Lecture – In Sickness and in Health: The Marriage of Corals with their Symbiotic Algae on April 14, 2016
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory returns on April 14, 2016, at 7 p.m. with the program titled In Sickness and in Health: The Marriage of Corals with their Symbiotic Algae. Virginia Weis, professor of integrative biology at Oregon State University, will speak about the relationship between corals and its millions of microscopic partners, creating the centerpiece of the coral reef ecosystems. The free lecture is presented at Lohman Auditorium located at 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., on the Whitney Laboratory campus.
Weis will begin the lecture by introducing attendees to the world of symbiosis, which is the relationship between two organisms that are dependent on each other for survival. She will share examples of symbiosis across the tree of life, including in our own bodies. Weis will then explain how these relationships are formed in coral reef ecosystems and the chemical and nutrient currencies that are exchanged between partners. Finally, she will explain how environmental distress due to climate change, including warming ocean temperatures, is resulting in the breakdown of these relationships, known as coral bleaching, and is creating global threats to coral reef health.
Weis is the chair of the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University. She obtained her doctorate in 1990 in biology from the University of California at Los Angeles in the area of coral reef biology and coral symbiosis. She performed two postdoctoral fellowships, one at the University of Southern California and the other at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, examining other aspects of marine symbiosis. She has been at Oregon State University since 1996. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Whitney Laboratory. She has authored more than 75 publications and mentored and trained 13 doctorate students, 10 postdoctoral fellows and dozens of undergraduates.
About The Evenings at Whitney
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series focuses on current science topics or ongoing research at Whitney Laboratory. Speakers are recognized experts in their fields and encourage questions and discussion. Lectures are presented the first or second Thursday of each month, September through May, in Whitney’s 260-seat Lohman Auditorium. Lectures, including parking, are free and open to the public. Reservations are not needed.