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Science Sunday with Meredith McPherson, Ph.D. (hosted by the Seymour Marine Discovery Center)
Sunday, November 21, 2021
1:30 - 2:30 PM PST

Environment vs. Ecology:
Decoding the Decline of a Kelp Forest Ecosystem in Northern California

Meredith McPherson, Ph.D.
Department of Ocean Sciences, UC Santa Cruz

Bull kelp forests experienced unprecedented losses along 220 miles of coastline in Northern California beginning in 2014 after the onset of a large marine heatwave and the local extinction of sunflower sea stars (sea urchins primary predator). These losses have had devastating consequences to the region’s communities, economies, and fisheries. Similar to the nature versus nurture debate in psychology, it can be equally challenging to tease apart environmental and ecological drivers (also known as "top down versus bottom up”) in ecosystem dynamics.

Using a suite of diver and satellite-derived data, join Meredith as she describes historical patterns of kelp canopy coverage in Northern California, decodes how and why this event occurred, and provides perspective on the future of these iconic marine ecosystems.


Science Sunday is for everyone interested in the world around them. Join us on the third Sunday of every month (except December) for a public lecture from a marine scientist, who presents current research and topics in an entertaining and easy-to-understand format, with up-to-date photos, video, and discussion.

Sign up for the Seymour Center's e-newsletter: https://seymourcenter.ucsc.edu/newsletter-sign-up/

Nov 21, 2021 01:30 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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