Gene chips forecast ecological impacts of climate change

February 18, 2007

(San Francisco, Calif.) -- Gretchen Hofmann, an associate professor of biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will present a talk about the use of technologies in molecular biology to assess climate-change related impacts on marine invertebrates at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco on Sunday, Feb. 18.

Her research centers on sea urchins and mussels, important members of marine ecosystems. The main focus will be on finding ways to assess the effects of temperature stress and low pH, due to ocean acidification, on adults and early developmental stages of marine invertebrates.

Coastal marine ecosystems, from the intertidal zone to the continental shelves, are particularly vulnerable to global climate change. The physical factors that are changing in these systems are more than temperature alone. Due to the interaction of oceans with the atmosphere and the role of the ocean in carbon dioxide sequestration, marine ecosystems will experience temperature changes combined with changes in ocean pH -- ocean acidification.

As a consequence of the elevated levels of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, the predictions for ocean acidification are more problematic than temperature stress alone. Data presented will show how gene chips and other molecular approaches can assist in understanding how marine invertebrates are responding to the climate-change related multiple stressors in the world's oceans.

Sunday, Feb. 18, 2007, 3:30 PM - 5:00 P.M.
Hilton San Francisco, Ballroom Level
Room: Franciscan A
Topic: Something Borrowed, Something Blue: Using Innovative Technologies To Explore Oceans
-end-


University of California - Santa Barbara

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