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  • Seminar Series

The Division hosts a weekly Science and Mathematics Seminar Series. All seminars are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, seminars are held from 4-5 pm in room 200 in the Marine and Natural Sciences building on the RWU campus.
For maps and directions, please visit

Spring 2017 MNS Seminar Series

(click on each event below for more information...will be updated often)

February 15, 2017
RWU @ Aquaculture America: Student Research Initiatives in the CEED Wetlab

RWU student researchers prepare for the 2017 World Aquaculture Society meeting in San Antonio, TX.
Broodstock conditioning and larval rearing of the Atlantic Lookdown, Selene vomer (J. Alexander Bonanno, Senior)
Broodstock conditioning and larval rearing of the Yasha Goby, Stonogobiops yasha (Anthony Stella, Senior)
Effect of three broodstock diets on the reproductive activity of the Fire Shrimp, Lysmata debelius (Elena Welch, Senior)
Characterization of the life history & sexual system of the Yasha Goby, Stonogobiops yasha (Laüra Gaitan, Senior)

February 22, 2017
Kifle Hagos (RWU) - Integrated Seawater Farming Case Study: Eritrea's experience

Integrated seawater farming aims to preserve freshwater resources by using seawater to produce food, generate wealth, and enhance natural environments. Dr. Hagos studies the carbon sequestration potential of seafood production systems using life cycle analysis. His research focuses on identifying ways to minimize the environmental impact of the production, distribution and consumption of energy and food, as a means to minimize global greenhouse gas emissions.
Relevant reading:
Hodges et al. 1993. Reversing the flow: Water and Nutrients from sea to land. Ambio, 22:482.
Dickerson, M. 2008. Letting the sea cultivate the land. Los Angeles Times, July 10, 2008.

March 1, 2017
Catherine Luria (Brown University) - Microbial Diversity and Activity in Antarctic Coastal Waters

Dr. Luria is interested in the forces that shape natural microbial communities and how these in turn impact ecosystem function. Her research focuses on the marine microbial communities of the Western Antarctic Peninsula, a region that undergoes extreme light-driven seasonal transitions. She has examined how these transitions, especially spring sea-ice melt and phytoplankton blooms, drive changes in bacterial diversity and activity.
Relevent reading:
Luria et al. 2016. Seasonal succession of free-living bacterial communities in coastal waters of the western Antarctic Peninsula. Front. Microbiol. 7:1731.
Luria et al. 2014.Marine bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic diversity and community structure on the continental shelf of the
western Antarctic Peninsula
. Aquat. Microb. Ecol. 73:107.

March 8, 2017
Andy Rhyne (RWU & New England Aquarium) - Data Driven Decision Making Improves Conservation of Aquarium Trade Species

Dr. Rhyne has invested his career in understanding marine ornamental fish and invertebrates, as well as the industry driven by human fascination for these organisms. The trade in aquarium species is a data limited industry and the lack of trade data hinders sustainability efforts within the trade. Dr. Rhyne has worked to develop solutions to this data gap, while advancing the field of marine ornamental aquaculture by developing methods for breeding and rearing popular species in aquaria.
Relevent reading:
Rhyne AL, Tlusty MF, Szczebak JT, Holmberg RJ. 2017. Expanding our understanding of the trade in marine aquarium animals. PeerJ 5:e2949.
Rhyne, AL, Tlusty MF, Kaufman, L. 2014. Is sustainable exploitation of coral reefs possible? A view from the standpoint of the marine aquarium trade. Curr. Opin. Environ. Sustain. 7:101.

March 22, 2017
Leocadio Blanco-Bercial & Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley (Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences)

Zooplankton Ecology-Omics… And More!!!
Dr. Blanco-Bercial is a zooplankton ecologist who is investigating the zooplankton community at the Bermuda Atlantic Time-Series (BATS) site in the Sargasso Sea. His research integrates classical morphological analysis with molecular approaches to describe the temporal and vertical distribution of species, while also addressing broader spatial and temporal questions related to zooplankton phylogeny, population genetics and dispersal. To learn more about Dr. Blanco-Bercial and his research, see: and
Coral Reef Resilience and Climate Change: Is the future of corals reefs down deep?
Dr. Goodbody-Gringley is a reef ecologist focused on understanding how coral reef ecosystems function and maintain biodiversity. Her research combines large-scale in situ ecological surveys, laboratory based manipulative experiments, and molecular ecology to address questions related to the health, evolution, and resilience of coral reefs, ranging from shallow reefs to the mesophoticzone. Current projects include assessing biodiversity and ecosystem function on mesophoticreefs, impacts of invasive lionfish, and reproductive patterns of corals across reef zones. To learn more about Dr. Goodbody-Gringleyand her research, see: and

March 29, 2017
Henry Winter (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics)

April 5, 2017
David Cebula (Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems) - Approaches for Analyzing Defense Concepts


April 12, 2017
RWU Student Research Presentations


April 19, 2017
J.D. Swanson (Salve Regina University)

April 26, 2017
Jane Pleskunas (RWU Alum) - Combating Tuberculosis: Research Notes from Boston to India

May 3, 2017
David Taylor (RWU) - Applying to Graduate School: Answers to FAQs


May 10, 2017
Rob Holmberg (UMass Boston) - Ocean Acidification Impacts Otolith Morphology and Mineralogy in Tropical Reef Fishes