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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Today's Message

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Biology-GLC Seminar: 'Using Physical Ecology to Understand the Complexity of Freshwater Mussels: Mass Transfer Relationships' - November 18

Please join the Biology Department and the Great Lakes Center for the seminar "Using Physical Ecology to Understand the Complexity of Freshwater Mussels: Mass Transfer Relationships," presented by Josef Ackerman, professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph, on Monday, November 18, from 3:00 to 3:50 p.m. in Technology Building 160. All are welcome.

Unionid mussels are relatively sedentary on the bottoms of lakes and rivers except for their early-life history that involves the broadcasting of sperm and parasitic glochidia larvae, large-scale dispersal via a host fish, and local dispersal in the water column of juvenile mussels after excystment from their hosts. The fluid environment is responsible for essential biological processes including the delivery of food resources and juveniles to the benthos as well as the removal of sperm and wastes. Consequently, an understanding of the hydrodynamics of mass transfer in aquatic habitats should provide insight into the physical ecology of unionid mussels. I will highlight several examples of key transport processes that facilitate the physical ecology of important life history functions (e.g., larval and juvenile dispersal, and the suspension feeding of benthic mussels under flowing conditions). In many cases, hydrodynamics provide important insights into these processes, but biology may modify the outcome because of behavior. Regardless, our current theoretical predictions are often limited in value because they fail to capture behavior and the important role of hydrodynamic mass transfer in mussel biology—i.e., the valuable insights into the understand the complexity of freshwater mussels provided by a physical ecology approach.

Submitted by: Susan Dickinson