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EEB Thursday Seminar: Ecological impacts of chemical cues in marine systems

Julia Kubanek, Professor and Associate Dean, College of Biological Sciences, GeorgiaTech

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Among the many pressures that marine organisms face, intense competition and predation have contributed to the evolution of chemical defenses and the ability to sense chemical cues. Chemical ecologists have long sought to understand the identities, functions, and consequences of these compounds in the marine environment. However, traditional approaches to connect naturally occurring chemical compounds with ecological outcomes have often been unsatisfactory, especially for cases in which chemical cues and signaling molecules are waterborne and unstable; yields are low or variable; multiple compounds act synergistically or additively; and behavioral assays are labor-intensive or consume considerable amounts of a scarce molecule. We have developed a metabolomics-based strategy to take advantage of the natural variation in production of chemical cues across different environmental conditions towards identifying ecologically important waterborne molecules and their effects on organism behavior and physiology. As expected, marine organisms respond to a diversity of chemical species in their watery worlds, exhibiting dramatic behavioral and physiological changes when exposed to predators and competitors.

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When and Where

Map Chemistry Dow Lab - 1200

January 2018

4:00pm - 5:00pm

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