Science Café: The unbearable lightness of being (squishy): an introduction to ctenophorology

April 7, 2021 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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The unbearable lightness of being (squishy): an introduction to ctenophorology

Ctenophores are a group of gelatinous marine invertebrates whose outwardly "simple" physiology belies a host of intriguing and impressive adaptations. In this presentation, I will give a broad overview of the phylum, highlighting a few areas of particular interest to my research, including swimming biomechanics, DNA metabarcoding studies of ctenophore diet, and the unique glue cells called "colloblasts" that they use to ensnare their prey. I will also discuss the immense diversity of ctenophore body plans and lifestyles, highlighting the many yet-unknown aspects of this fascinating animal group.

About our Speaker:  

James Townsend, Postdoctoral researcher - Providence College/Marine Biological Laboratory

Dr. Townsend is a marine biophysicist specializing in the physiology and ecology of ctenophores, a group of enigmatic, jellyfish-like animals found throughout the world's oceans. His current research is focused on developing techniques to study the diet of ctenophores living in the open ocean using DNA metabarcoding.

If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please email as soon as possible. Requests made at least one week prior to the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.

Science Cafe

Photo of Daniel Dotson Daniel Dotson
Head of Geology Library