Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series
presented by AltaSea and Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Friday, October 6, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Ecological Consequences of Thermal Stress on Wave-Swept Shores: Insights from a Model Ecosystem

By Bengt J. Allen, California State University, Long Beach

Increasing temperature variability associated with rapid climate change is likely to be an important driver of biological disturbance over the next few decades, as it increases the risk that species’ stress thresholds will be exceeded. In response to a thermal challenge, many organisms exhibit characteristic physiological changes resulting in greater tolerance to subsequent high temperatures.

The activation of this so-called “heat shock response” requires, however, a significant energetic investment that can lead to reduced growth or reproduction. Characterized by steep gradients and high variability in physical conditions over small spatial and temporal scales, the rocky intertidal zone is a model system for the experimental investigation of organismal responses to physiological stress. Come learn about the mechanistic basis and complex ecological consequences of increasing temperature variation on rocky shores.

Bengt Allen earned his BA from Pomona College, MS from San Diego State University, and PhD from Stony Brook University. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Research in his lab uses observational studies and manipulative experiments to investigate links between local environmental conditions and individual physiology, behavior, and demography (i.e., survival, growth, and reproduction). His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and California Sea Grant.

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