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For Immediate Release: September 13, 2010
Contact: Gina Hebert, 508-289-7725; ghebert@mbl.edu

MBL Ecosystems Center To Kick Off Seminar Series, September 17
Lectures will feature some of world’s top environmental researchers

WOODS HOLE, MA—A lecture exploring the future of the world’s seagrass ecosystems will kick off the 2010 Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series, sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory's (MBL's) Ecosystems Center. Carlos Duarte, Director of the International Laboratory of Global Change Research at the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies in Mallorca, Spain will present the talk “Facing the Global Loss of Seagrass Meadows: Trends, Causes, Outlook, and Opportunities” on Friday, September 17 at 3:00 pm in the Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building, 18 MBL St., Woods Hole. The public is invited to attend.

Dr. Duarte’s research explores how aquatic ecosystems affect the functioning of the biosphere and evaluates how both natural and anthropogenic threats and pressures may alter ecosystem function. His primary focus has been on dynamics of seagrass ecosystems around the world. He is currently leading projects in polar ecosystems, the global ocean, and the Mediterranean coastal zone.

The Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series is part of the MBL's Semester in Environmental Science (SES), a 15-week program that provides college students from across the U.S. with an intensive field and laboratory-based introduction to environmental science of coastal forests, freshwater ponds and estuaries. The Distinguished Scientists Seminar Series gives SES students and the public an opportunity to meet and interact with some of the best practitioners of environmental science in the world.

Dr. Duarte received a Ph.D. at McGill University. He is a research professor at the Spanish Research Council and a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council, a body established by the European Union to support and fund investigator-driven research in Europe at the frontier of science. He was president of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography from 2007 to 2010. Dr. Duarte has received numerous honors for his work including the prestigious G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award, the National Science Award of Spain, and the King James I Award for Research on Environmental Protection.

The Distinguished Scientist Lecture Series will continue throughout the fall at the MBL. The remaining lectures in the series are:

September 24
3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building, 18 MBL St., Woods Hole
Kenneth O Buesseler, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
“Understanding the Ocean’s Biological Pump”

October 15
3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL St., Woods Hole
Samantha Joye, University of Georgia
“Distribution, Biogeochemistry, and Effects of Oil and Gas Hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem”

October 29
3:00 PM, Lillie Auditorium, 7 MBL St., Woods Hole
Thompson Webb III, Brown University
“Climate Warming and Vegetation Changes in North America Since the ‘Last Ice Age’ 21,000 Years Ago”

November 5
3:00 PM, Speck Auditorium, Rowe Building, 18 MBL St., Woods Hole
Monica G Turner, University of Wisconsin
“Landscape Heterogeneity, Disturbance, and Ecosystem Function”


The MBL® is a leading international, independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to discovery and to improving the human condition through creative research and education in the biological, biomedical and environmental sciences. Founded in 1888 as the Marine Biological Laboratory, the MBL is the oldest private marine laboratory in the Western Hemisphere.