Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Discovery Lecture Series

Friday, February 2, 2018
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Parasites and food webs

By Dr. Kevin Lafferty, US Geological Survey and UC Santa Barbara

Food webs are the conceptual framework underlying most of Marine Ecology. But Marine Ecologists rarely account for most of the species in food webs, which turn out to be parasites. Parasites can be disgusting, but are they trivial? Parasites change how food webs look and can affect the way predators and prey interact. Furthermore, food webs alter disease transmission, meaning that we can manipulate food webs to improve health.

Dr. Kevin Lafferty is a senior marine ecologist with the US Geological Survey at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He studies marine conservation in estuaries, sandy beaches, kelp forests and coral reefs, with a special fondness for parasites.

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