"Centering on Functional Anatomy Unlocks Neat Stuff from the Molecular to the Ecological Levels" 

altPeter Beninger graduated from the University of Western Ontario (B.A.), then Dalhousie University (Hon. BSc), before starting graduate studies at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale in Brest, France.  A DEA graduate degree in 1978 was followed by a doctorate degree in 1982, another in 1987 after the system of doctorates was overhauled, and a ‘Habilitation’ degree in 1991.  This academic ‘road less travelled’ led to a university career at two ‘off-the-beaten-track’ universities (Moncton, Canada, and Nantes, France).  His research activities have concentrated on shellfish feeding and reproduction, with occasional forays into shorebird-seabird ecology.  An abiding interest in how science is done has resulted in work on strengthening statistical usage in marine ecology, as well as on predatory journals.  Peter is currently completing a collaborative book on mudflat ecology, bringing together geologists, biogeochemists, quantitative ecologists, parasitologists, macro-and meiofauna zoologists, invasion biologists, ornithologists, and fisheries and aquaculture biologists.  Over a lifetime of investigation into shellfish (and even vertebrate) functional anatomy, Peter has elucidated a treasure-trove of fascinating and important biological phenomena, as well as opening several very active and current fields of research.  He will illustrate this, using examples taken from the following: bivalve feeding, bivalve reproduction, gastropod reproduction, crab reproduction, and shorebird feeding.

 

"Predicting Adaptive Responses to Ocean Change: Implications for Aquaculture" 

altDonal Manahan is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California. Specific themes from his recent work that will form the basis for his presentation at the 2018 Annual NSA Meeting are the study of environmental and metabolic physiology, directed towards understanding larval stages of commercial aquaculture species and their responses to environmental change. More generally, his research is focused on biochemical strategies of animal development and adaptation in different environments, with studies spanning from the coldest regions on Earth (Antarctica) to the warmest (deep-sea hydrothermal vents). Born in Ireland, he obtained his undergraduate degree in biological sciences from Trinity College (University of Dublin); his graduate studies (Ph.D.) in environmental physiology were completed at the University of Wales (Bangor, UK). Trained as a postdoctoral fellow in cell physiology at the University of California, Irvine, he also studied molecular developmental biology at the California Institute of Technology. He is a lifetime National Associate of the U.S. National Academies and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A geographic feature in Antarctica is named “Manahan Peak” for his contributions to science. [More information on his research and educational activities can be found at: http://dornsife.usc.edu/labs/manahan/

 

  "Colourful Shells: The Evolution of Colour in Mollusca"

altSuzanne Williams is a Researcher and Head of the Invertebrate Division in the Department of Life Sciences, at the Natural History Museum, London.  She is also President of the Malacological Society of London and a Council member of UNITAS Malacologica. She studied at the University of Western Australia and obtained her PhD at James Cook University on Australia’s east coast. Continuing her eastward migration she then went to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama as a post-doctoral fellow working with Nancy Knowlton on snapping shrimp. In a final move to the east she took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the NHM with David Reid working on patterns of speciation and biogeography in littorinid gastropods, before being offered a permanent post as a Researcher. Her research uses non-model, non-laboratory organisms to identify some of the mechanisms that generate diversity (species, phenotypic and genetic) in species-rich biomes and the factors that drive diversification. Recently she has been particularly interested in the evolution of colour in marine invertebrates, with a focus on molluscan shell colour. Her colour studies include the identification of shell pigments and linking the production of porphyrin pigments to a molecular pathway.

 

 “The Milford Method”:  Origins, Evolution, and Applications

altGary Wikfors  is Chief of the Aquaculture Sustainability Branch of the NOAA, NMFS, Northeast Fisheries Science Center and Director of the Milford Laboratory.  He holds academic degrees from the University of Maine at Orono (BS), University of Bridgeport (MS), and University of Connecticut (PhD).  Following the advice of UMO Phycology class Professor Bob Vadas, Gary sought out Dr. Ravenna Ukeles for graduate study and began working in the Milford Lab with Dr. Ukeles in 1976.  After MS studies and several temporary appointments, Gary was hired as a microbiologist in 1980 and began a career devoted to microalgal aquaculture applications and physiological ecology further developed during doctoral studies with Dr. Frank Trainor.  Gary now leads a team of 12 scientists and technicians, looks after the Milford Laboratory, collaborates with colleagues throughout the US and in several other nations, and participates in graduate student education as adjunct faculty at a number of academic institutions.  Gary also is directly engaged with the shellfish hatchery community, providing training and advice to improve use of microalgal cultures in shellfish seed production.