David Bruce Conn, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences, Berry College
Associate in Invertebrate Zoology, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University
Jefferson Science Fellow, Office of International Health & Biodefense, U.S. Department of State
"A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Planet: Parasites and Invasive Species on the Move"
For any species, two of the abilities most critical for survival are the capacities for dispersal to and colonization of new environments. Together, these allow exploitation of new resources and diversification of the gene pool. To accomplish both of these, many species gain an advantage by hitchhiking on other species. In most cases, the hitchhiker gains access to the body of its transport species, frequently taking resources from this host in the process. In the case of human carriers, the dispersing colonist may gain access to technological mechanisms such as ships or airplanes. Depending on the dispersing species involved, this may result in environmentally damaging biological invasions, the emergence of new diseases, or the expansion of disease epidemics. In both cases, the colonist benefits at the expense of the environmental health of the newly invaded location. This seminar will explore research on some of these hitchhikers, their ingenious strategies for catching a ride, and the environmental consequences of their success.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Science Building 220
Students, staff, and faculty are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.
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