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Weekly Science Seminars

These lectures are geared toward researchers, biology students and professional scientists. They provide an opportunity for SERC research staff and their colleagues from other institutions to present current work. These seminars are held during the work day and are open to the public.

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October 15, 2015 11:00AM
Multiple Scales of Environmental Context Influence the Distribution and Interactions of an Introduced Seagrass and its Native Congener.
Michael Hannam, SERC
Predicting invasive species impacts is an important goal of invasion biology, but it is complicated by the fact that invasion impacts can vary greatly depending on the biotic and abiotic context in which they occur. We examined the role of multiple scales of abiotic context in the distribution of introduced dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) and its native congener (Zostera marina), as well as how fine-scale topographic context influences the interactions of these two species. Our results suggest that the native Z. marina is the dominant competitor where they co-occur, and that efforts to control the introduced Z. japonica should be undertaken cautiously at such locations.
Schmidt Conference Center

October 22, 2015 11:00AM
Historical Ecological Data – Four ‘Just-So’ Stories from 1872 to 1943
Rick Osman, SERC
The commitment to collecting long-term ecological data has been a part of SERC and continues as part of the Forest and Marine GEO programs. This commitment recognizes the importance of an historical context for understanding the results of present ecological research and, particularly, for using those results to predict future ecological changes. A variety of much older historical data are becoming more accessible as older studies and publications become digitized. Four such studies provide a window on how the marine environment along the U. S. East Coast has changed over the past 150 years, as well as how ecological research has changed. These studies include Spencer Baird’s 1872 report to Congress on the causes of the decline in New England fisheries; 1888-89 surveys of east coast fisheries; a 1904-07 survey of the marine fauna of Buzzard’s Bay and Vineyard Sound; and one of the first experimental studies of marine invertebrates published in 1943.
Schmidt Conference Center