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Geoscience Seminar with Dr. Paul Harnik, Colgate University

Thu, April 25th, 2024
3:00 pm
- 4:00 pm

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“The Ghosts of Populations Past: What Old Shells Reveal about Current and Future Oceans”
How have humans altered coastal ecosystems? Answering this question is challenging because our species has been interacting with coastal ecosystems for millennia, yet scientific monitoring of these environments is limited to a few decades at the most. In my talk, I will discuss how the skeletal remains of marine organisms are used to establish baselines for ecosystems prior to anthropogenic environmental change. Comparing these baselines with the characteristics of present-day populations can reveal historical changes and inform our predictions for how coastal species will respond to future environmental conditions. I will focus on examples from our lab’s work in the Gulf of Mexico that illustrate the ways that bivalve mollusks have responded to anthropogenic eutrophication.

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