May 28, 2020

Farming Wild: a look at aquaculture innovation in the US
with Dr. Abigail Bockus, LUMCON Assistant Professor

TIME:  7pm CDT
TALK DESCRIPTION: Have you ever wondered where your seafood comes from? Or what an underwater farm looks like? Wait, you haven’t? Even better! Join me this Thursday as I talk about one of my all-time favorite topics, aquaculture. I’ll share some of the ways scientists are innovating how we farm, where we farm, and what we feed our farmed aquatic species. We’ll explore success stories and some of the cutting-edge techniques being used to provide nutritious food and protect our planet at the same time.
REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Register to attend this talk by clicking this link.

June 4, 2020

The Louisiana Freshwater Sponge Survey Project: Identifying, Characterizing, and Building a Molecular Database
with Dr. Mary Miller, Associate Professor of Biology, Baton Rouge Community College,

TIME:  7pm CDT
TALK DESCRIPTION: Since the summer of 2019, Dr. Miller and her team of BRCC students have been surveying the Louisiana freshwater sponge population. This is the first extensive survey conducted since 1968. Join Dr. Miller as she shares her journey in the world of “sponge hunting,” the progress her team has made in reporting their findings, and how you can be involved in locating freshwater sponges too!

Series Presenter Lineup

Save the date!  Below is a list of upcoming presenters for our lecture series.  More details about each talk and registration information will be provided soon.

May 28, 2020: Dr. Abigail Bockus (LUMCON)
June 4, 2020: Dr. Mary Miller (BRCC)
June 11, 2020: Dr. James Nelson (ULL)
June 18, 2020: Dr. Kelly Boyle (UNO)
June 25, 2020: Dr. Nancy Rabalais (LUMCON/LSU)


Adventures in Monitoring: Using Online Tools To Watch Louisiana’s Coast From Your Desktop
with Dr. Alex Kolker, LUMCON Associate Professor

DATE:  April 9, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION: For scientists and the public who cannot go to the coast, the coast can come to you. Over the last few decades, rapid growth of freely accessible, online data sources let scientists, students, and the public at large watch coasts change in real time. This talk will give an overview online data sources and how to access them. We will show how these resources are employed by scientists, how they can help us prepare for weather and flood events, and how they can be used people who just want to watch the dynamics and beauty of Louisiana’s coast.  Get a list of websites featured in this talk by clicking here.
RECORDING: Missed this talk? Watch the recording by clicking this link.

Dr. Craig McClain

Alligators in the Abyss
with Dr. Craig McClain, LUMCON Executive Director/Associate Professor

DATE:  APRIL 16, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION: Connecting the oceans to land are numerous carbon highways. These conduits bring food from land to the ocean, supporting an abundance of life. Our group explores these carbon chains and explores some potential methods of carbon delivery to the deep ocean. At first it may seem fanciful that an alligator carcass might find its way to the deep. However, dozens of species of alligators and crocodiles are found across the globe, in high numbers, and often in coastal areas. Through either their normal migrating or foraging activities, or during flooding events, individuals may be found offshore in the ocean. If one of those individuals meets an unfortunate end, it may fall to the seafloor. Thus our experiment alligators in the abyss. In 2019, our research group placed three alligator carcasses 1.5 miles deep on the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico in the first-ever alligator fall experiment. Each of the three alligators met a different fate.
RECORDING: Missed this talk? Watch the recording by clicking this link.

Massive Events With Microscopic-Scale Impacts
with Dr. Beth Stauffer, Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

DATE:  APRIL 23, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION:Massive, extreme events like hurricanes or large river flooding impact coastal ecosystems and communities in ways that we can see and often directly experience. However, these events also have effects on microscopic organisms at the base of marine food webs – the phytoplankton – which have the potential to significantly disrupt ecosystem-scale processes in which these organisms are intimately involved. My research group has studied the effects of Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and the Mississippi River flood in 2019 on phytoplankton communities and their associated food webs in the coastal ocean and Louisiana’s estuaries. Through this research, we are continuing to build our understanding of how such massive events impact these important microscopic organisms and the food webs they support.
RECORDING: Missed this talk?Watch the recording by clicking this link.

Wonderfully Weird World of Sponges
with Dr. Stephanie Archer, LUMCON Assistant Professor

DATE:  April 30, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION: Sponges are one of the oldest groups of animals on the planet. They occur in nearly every aquatic ecosystem, from freshwater lakes and rivers to the most extreme environments in the deep sea. Yet, most people can’t confidently tell you whether sponges are, in fact, animals or plants. In this talk I will introduce what sponges are and show you some of the crazy things these animals can do. I’ll also talk about how important sponges are in many marine ecosystems and why we should probably pay more attention to these seemingly boring creatures.  Click here to listen to “Sponger Money” by George Symonette which was featured in this talk.
RECORDING: Miss this talk? Watch the recording by clicking this link.

10 Ways Microscopic Ocean Animals Are Fascinating
with Dr. Kelly Robinson, Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

DATE:  May 7, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION: In a bucket of seawater there are tens to hundreds of microscopic, drifting animals called zooplankton. These small wanderers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and taxonomic diversity. Some flit through the water on ethereal wings like a hummingbird while others dart at incredible speeds (1000 body lengths per second!) through a molasses-like liquid. Zooplankton are amazing in so many ways; not to mention how some of them grow up to be delicious food (crab cakes anyone?). Join a virtual exploration of how these microscopic, ocean monsters are among the most fascinating animals on Earth.
REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Did you miss this talk?  Watch the recording by clicking this link.

Stay in school! The whys and hows of fish schooling behavior and what we can learn from them
with Dr. Guillaume Rieucau, LUMCON Assistant Professor

DATE: May 14, 2020

TALK DESCRIPTION: During this presentation, I will invite you to dive with me in the fascinating world of collective behavior of marine organisms. I will present the research conducted with many of my colleagues on animal social behavior and collective reactions. Over the years as a marine biologist, I have explored how predation, environmental conditions, human disturbances, and fishery activities affect the behavior of ecologically and economically important fish species in marine and estuarine ecosystems. Finally, I will address what we can learn from the behavioral reactions of wild group-living marine animals and use this knowledge to develop sound conservation plans.
RECORDING: Did you miss this talk? Watch the recording by clicking this link.

What is toxicology and why should I care? – Connections between oil and fish reproduction
with Dr. Chris Green, Associate Professor, Louisiana State University

DATE: May 21, 2020
TALK DESCRIPTION: What do you think of when you hear the word, “Toxicology”? Ten years ago 5 million barrels of oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico from the tragedy aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. The effects of this event and other similar releases have been studied for the various short term and long term consequences on the surrounding ecosystem. This talk will explore the science of environmental toxicology and the history behind this discipline. Taking a look inside fishes that were potentially exposed to crude oil, we will discuss research findings that show how these substances alter the ability of fishes to reproduce.
RECORDING: Did you miss this talk? You can watch the recording by clicking this link.