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The Ellis Island Effect: Invasive Species in the Mid-Atlantic

February 12, 2019, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location Center for Environmental and Life Sciences - 120
Posted InCollege of Science and Mathematics

Due to the Impending weather the speaker for this week has changed, updated information below

Paul Bologna, Department of Biology, presents this week's seminar.

About Dr. Bologna

Dr. Paul Bologna is a Professor of Biology and the Director of the Marine Biology and Coastal Sciences Program at Montclair State University. Dr. Bologna received a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University, a Masters Degree in Oceanography from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of South Alabama. His research expertise lies within aquatic ecology with emphasis in two areas, Jellyfish Ecology and Seagrass Ecosystems. His current research includes understanding jellyfish communities in Barnegat Bay, coastal New Jersey and the US Virgin Islands. His research on seagrasses has spanned over two decades and includes research activities from the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mid-Atlantic, and Alaska.

About the Seminar

Global invasions of marine species often follow human migration pathways and primary commerce routes.  Exploration, immigration, and commerce to the United States has created hot spots for invasive species to become established.  In particular, Ellis Island served as a primary spot for European immigrants over the last century.  During the last 3 years, we have documented for the first time four non-native hydrozoans in New Jersey using molecular techniques.  Gonionemus vertens, Moerisia inkermanica, and Bougainvillia triestina have origins potentially linked to the Mediterranean indicating a potential group invasion from that region. 

Aequorea australis is a Pacific hydrozoan whose origin pathway is yet unknown, but has now been documented in our region.  As the benthic polyp stages of these species are diminutive (<2mm) and pulses of medusae are infrequent, identification of these species was most likely overlooked in species inventories.  However, the use of molecular sequencing of COI and 16S on both polyps and medusa have allowed us to identify these species for the first time in New Jersey and the western mid-Atlantic Ocean.