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Seminar on Chemical and Microbial Ecology

Chemical and Microbial Ecology: Examples from Micronesian Ascidians and Sponges

Peter Schupp is an Assistant Professor of Marine Biology from the University of Guam. He is visiting with his collaborator Margo Haygood through April 18; contact Margo if you would like to meet individually with Dr. Schupp. He will present the department seminar on Friday, April 13 at 11:00 a.m., Room PC401.

Research Interests of Peter Schupp:Chemical ecology, marine biodiversity and ecotoxicology of marine invertebrates and algae. His basic research program investigates secondary metabolites from marine invertebrates and algae for their ecological function, as well as potential pharmaceutical properties. To get a better understanding of the ecological roles of secondary metabolites, he is assessing possible allelopathic functions and feeding deterrence of ascidians and sponges. His goal is to combine the chemical ecology research with management-oriented studies to develop new management techniques and strategies to help preserve or improve the state of coral reefs. One focus will be the identification of settlings cues for corals and other important reef-building organisms. Other projects will include ecotoxicology, especially the effect of pesticides, herbicides, antifouling paints and other anthropogenic chemicals on fitness and survival of larvae and adult corals and invertebrates. He is also interested in associations between microorganisms and invertebrates and how these associations are maintained and regulated (using sponges and ascidians as model organisms). The focus of the pharmaceutical screening part focuses on anticancer compounds and involves collaborations with researchers in Germany, Australia and the USA. This also involves research on culturing techniques and feasibility of farming of potentially interesting marine invertebrates.