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.
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