Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX Marine Ecology Lab well represented at World Conference on Marine Biodiversity

May 17th, 2018
The rocky shore of Nova Scotia, which members of StFX’s Marine Ecology Lab, led by Dr. Ricardo Scrosati, regularly survey to better understand how ocean-land interactions work.

StFX faculty and students were well represented at the 4th World Conference on Marine Biodiversity held this week in Montreal, QC, where members of the Marine Ecology Lab, led by biology professor Dr. Ricardo Scrosati, participated in three presentations during the conference.

One presentation was co-authored by Dr. Scrosati and Dr. Julius Ellrich, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab. Their presentation discussed recently discovered links between coastal oceanographic properties and the recruitment and development of intertidal biological communities spanning 415 km of the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. This work has recently been accepted for publication in “Ecosphere,” a journal of the Ecological Society of America.

Another presentation resulted from a collaboration between Alexis Catalán, a PhD student from Chile, and a colleague from the Universidad Austral de Chile, Dr. Nelson Valdivia. For this work, they used an extensive data set from Nova Scotia and compared it with a similarly large data set from the southeast Pacific coast to demonstrate the interhemispheric constancy of spatial patterns of species distribution along marine shorelines. An associated paper will be submitted for publication later this year.

The third presentation resulted from an ambitious project aiming to document the benthic biodiversity of Canada’s three oceans, the Atlantic, the Arctic, and the Pacific, identifying diversity hotspots worth of conservation. This project has been led by a colleague from the University of Quebec, Dr. Mathieu Cusson, and has benefited from the input of 18 marine biologists from across Canada. A paper summarizing its results is also being prepared for publication.

“This conference was very exciting and attracted participants from 54 countries. Naturally, new connections were established, aiming for more collaborative work in future years,” Dr. Scrosati says.


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