Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
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Discovery Lecture Series

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium proudly presents the Discovery Lecture Series on select Fridays from 7pm to 9pm.   
February 2, 2024
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From Bench to Bedside in Aquatic Toxicology  

by Dr. Erika Holland, California State University, Long Beach

Tickets available here: RSVP!
 Pollution in our environment has been a highlighted concern since Rachel Carson’s pivotal book Silent Spring. With an increase in regulatory laws governing the use and disposal of chemicals came a reduction in the release of large amounts of pollutants. Despite improvements in water quality, so-called legacy pollutants like DDT or PCBs remain leading contaminants of concern in aquatic environments with potential impacts on wildlife and human health. Additionally, there is now a myriad of persistent and pseudo-persistent pollutants being introduced into oceans and waterways; many of which lack up-to-date toxicity testing.

In this talk, Dr. Holland will discuss the use of known biomarkers to better predict the health status of vertebrate and invertebrate species in California waterways with varying pollutant burdens. She will also discuss work in her laboratory that aims to develop new biomarkers for pollutant induced calcium signaling disruption.

Dr. Erika Holland is an Associate Professor of Aquatic Toxicology and Molecular Biology at California State University of Long Beach. She received her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of California Davis and holds a Bachelor’s of Science from San Diego State University and a Master’s of Science from California State University of Sacramento. She is an integrative biologist joining techniques from computer modeling, biochemistry, cell biology, and ecology to address the health impacts of pollutants.
April 5, 2024

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Systematics of the whale-lice: a close look at the interrelationships and ecology 
of the Crustacea hitchhiking on whales, dolphins, and porpoises 
by Dr. Todd Haney, Sage Hill School 
Tickets available here: RSVP!
Crustaceans of the order Amphipoda are ubiquitous in the marine realm, and include some species that 
occur in freshwater and terrestrial environments. With more than 6,000 named species, the alpha- 
diversity of this one crustacean lineage exceeds that of the mammals. Among the amphipods, members 
of the family Cyamidae have a particularly interesting ecology; they live in obligate symbiotic 
associations with whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Given their particular niche, cyamids are more 
commonly referred to as whale-lice. More than two dozen species of whale-lice have been described, 
each of which lives exclusively on the surface of one or more cetacean hosts. Whale-lice exhibit direct 
development; that is, their life history includes no larval or free-living stage. Not surprisingly, these 
animals then exhibit a high degree of host-fidelity. Initial studies of the group were simple descriptions 
of specimens that had been collected during commercial and sustenance harvests of the hosts. 
Additional material is available for study from targeted collections and from strandings. The cyamids 
have been referred to as parasitic amphipods. However, the nature of their association with cetaceans 
remains poorly understood. The current state of knowledge of the ecology of the whale-lice is shared, 
as well as a detailed review of their unique morphology and what such evidence suggests about cyamid 
phylogeny. Additionally, patterns of relationships among the whale-lice are compared to current 
phylogenetic hypotheses for their cetacean hosts.

Dr. Todd Haney began his studies of marine invertebrates as an undergraduate at Northern Arizona 
University, where regular trips for fieldwork in the northern Sea of Cortez fostered his interest in the 
diversity of Crustacea. He completed a phylogenetic analysis of the whale-lice (family Cyamidae) for a 
master’s degree in marine science at the University of Charleston, South Carolina, and then continued in 
crustacean systematics for his doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, Dr. Haney is an instructor of life and environmental sciences at Sage Hill School, an independent school in Newport Coast, California, where he has been teaching since 2005.

Check out our lecture archive, which has all of our past speakers! 
Watch our most recent speaker below! 


Post Date: Friday, May 1, 2020


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    News Archive

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          9/27/2010 AZA Honors CMA