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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Spring 2014 SENR Seminar Series

Apr 3, 2014, 4:00pm - 5:30pm


The SENR Seminar Series welcomes Suzanne Gray, Assistant Professor in the OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources, who will present Fish Biodiversity in a Changing World.

Freshwaters are among the most threatened ecosystems globally, and the organisms they are harbor are under extreme pressure to respond to environmental change, or face extinction. Freshwater fishes, in particular, face extreme challenges associated with human activities in and near water, including increased sedimentation and temperature, eutrophication, low oxygen levels, pollutants, and overharvesting. Some fishes are able to cope with these environmental stressors by moving away or adapting to environmental change, while others cannot cope and so biodiversity is lost. My research explores the question, how do fish respond to human-induced environmental change? In this seminar, I will present recent work that examines the phenotypic responses of number of fish species to aquatic stressors. Some of these fishes appear to be adapting to human-induced environmental change; from them we can learn about coping mechanisms. Other species are not coping with environmental change; however, we can use experiments to assess their critical habitat needs in the hopes of conserving imperiled species. My research spans North America and East Africa, and I have waded through degraded freshwater habitats on both continents. This inspired me to work with collaborators in the creation of a water conservation project for children in Uganda and a new partnership with the Muskingum County Soil and Water Kids Conservation Camp. I will conclude the seminar by discussing this endeavor.

The SENR Seminar begins at 4:10 p.m in 103 Kottman Hall with a video link to 123 Williams Hall on the Wooster campus.