June 23: Mark and Diane Littler, Smithsonian Institution - Fascinating Findings and Phenomena: Panama’s Undersea Realm
About the Lecture
Mark and Diane Littler discuss their shipboard adventures throughout the western region of Pacific Panama, a “biological hotspot” with high-diversity and environmentally unique areas. The couple report their unusual findings from this very remote and primitive area, including the discovery of vast rhodolith (red algal balls) habitats, coral/fish/parasite interactions, exciting new species never before seen or recorded and stunning underwater photography of the unique organisms (both friendly and unfriendly) in these picturesque and diverse environments.
About the Speakers
Drs. Mark & Diane Littler are marine scientists who have developed a unique husband and wife collaborative relationship. Diane is an Adjunct Research Scientist, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution. Mark is a Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Institution. Diane & Mark each have over 30 years of research experience on coral reefs, with nearly 200 papers and books published in a wide range of disciplines. Their research has taken the Littlers around the world in search of unexplored marine habitats, often targeting areas of exceptional diversity or places in danger of biodegradation. Their series of user friendly field guides is now focused on the unique and rich flora of Panama; both Caribbean Panama (San Blas Islands, Isla Escudo de Veraguas and Bocas del Toro) and Pacific Panama (Archipelago de las Perlas, Gulf of Panama, Gulf of Chiriquí and Coiba National Park); see http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/pacificalgae/.
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