Microplastics in the Indian River Lagoon
“Microplastics in the Indian River Lagoon” will be the topic of the Marine Discovery Center’s March Monthly Lecture Series.
The free webinar will be held on Thursday, March 18, at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Presenters Dr. Linda Walters of the University of Central Florida, Dr. Holly Sweat of the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Fla., and UCF graduate student Casey Craig will describe micro plastics and focus on their current research, which includes: citizen-science monthly data collections throughout the IRL; plastics in IRL oysters; and microbial communities (microbiomes) on the plastics.
Dr. Walters is a Pegasus Professor of Biology at UCF, where she has been on the faculty for 23 years. Her Indian River Lagoon-focused research includes oyster biology and ecology, oyster reef restoration, living shoreline stabilization, and threatened/endangered wading bird biology. She is also the author/producer of nine children’s books on marine conservation for free distribution.
Dr. Sweat is a marine ecologist, head of the Benthic Ecology Program at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida, and curator of the open access Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory biodiversity portal (irlspecies.org). Her research uses a variety of techniques to catalogue biodiversity and to understand the vital roles of microbes and other small organisms in marine ecosystems.
Casey Craig is a graduate student at UCF in the department of biology and has worked as a research assistant for the Coastal and Estuarine Ecology Lab at UCF, led by Dr. Walters, first as an undergraduate and now, as a graduate student. Her current research focus is microplastic pollution and accumulation in the IRL.
Interested guests for the March lecture may register for the Zoom presentation online. The program is free, but participants must set up a personal Zoom account to access the webinar. MDC will continue to offer programs online during COVID-19 precautions.
For more information about the lecture, contact the Marine Discovery Center at 386-428-4828.