Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Biology professor invited to present marine ecology work at conference in California

February 2nd, 2018
The main model system biology professor Dr. Ricardo Scrosati and his Marine Ecology Lab have used over the years for their research is composed by barnacles and mussels (prey) and dogwhelks (predatory snails).

StFX biology professor Dr. Ricardo Scrosati was in Ventura, California, this week presenting research from work completed in his Marine Ecology Lab at the invitation-only 2018 Gordon Research Conference on Predator-Prey Interactions, which gathered 200 researchers on this discipline from various countries.  

Specifically, he made a presentation on the nonconsumptive effects that predators have on prey demography.  

“This topic is a relatively unstudied area of the biology of nonconsumptive predator effects, which by far has traditionally focused on behavioural and morphological effects on prey,” he says. “Learning the demographic consequences is essential to better understand how the role of prey species in natural communities is shaped by predator cues. “

The presentation was co-authored with Dr. Julius Ellrich, a postdoctoral fellow from Germany currently working in Dr. Scrosati’s lab.

The main model system they have used over the years for their research is composed by barnacles and mussels (prey) and dogwhelks (predatory snails). Dr. Scrosati says these are predominant organisms on Atlantic Canadian rocky shores and, thus, ideal for field experiments to develop theory on predator-prey interactions.

Funding for the research came from Dr. Scrosati’s successive NSERC Discovery Grants and from Dr. Ellrich’s scholarships from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

This research is, in part, made possible by the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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