Huxley guest speaker to discuss the design of marine protected areas

The Huxley College Speaker Series at Western Washington University presents Dave Carlon, of the University of Hawaii, who will be speaking on "The Molecular Toolkit and the Design of Marine Protected Areas: Examples from the Indo-Pacific" at 3 p.m. Oct. 30 in Communications Facility Room 125. This presentation is free and open to the public.

In his talk, Carlon will discuss how climate change, collapse of fisheries, and rapid coastline development highlight the need for a “national park” approach to protecting the aesthetic and economic benefits of marine ecosystems.  These problems are particularly acute on high diversity coral reefs where “fishing down food webs” has changed ecosystem function, and predicted changes in ocean acidity threaten the structural collapse of coral reefs within decades.  Unlike terrestrial national parks, optimal design of Marine Protected Areas (or MPAs) must give greater consideration to the ecological and evolutionary consequences of long distance dispersal by planktonic larvae and the resulting high population connectivity, often across thousands of kilometers of ocean.

Carlon is an Associate Professor of Zoology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa (Oahu). He received his PhD. from the University of New Hampshire, and has published papers in the journal Science, Journal of Environmental Engineering, Evolution, Molecular Ecology, Conservation Genetics, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, as well as in other marine biology oriented journals. 

Anyone interested in these issues is encouraged to come and participate. The presentation will examine opportunities for addressing these issues and include a question and answer period. The speaker series is held by Western's Huxley College of the Environment to bring together the environmental studies/ science community and other interested members of the WWU and Bellingham communities. Speakers address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and the world.

For more information, please contact David Rossiter, Huxley College of the Environment, (360) 650-3603.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - 9:46am

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