Biodiversity: a Narrative Tapestry on Life

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Monday, February 26, 2018
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
When: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Harman Academy for Polymathic Study, DML 241
Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - 17:00

“For I am yearning to visit the limits of the all-nurturing Earth, and Oceans, from whom the gods are sprung.”--Homer

The gods, or alternatively, the sources of life, do indeed spring from the ocean, and Biological Science Professor Jed Fuhrman, like Homer, has been visiting the “all nurturing” sea, producing an epic story of his own.  We polymaths have ventured across the bay to Catalina for our student retreat for three years now and a dolphin visit alongside of our ferry, or even the rare sighting of a whale ignites such excitement in us all—to see the ocean’s life close-up and tangible.  But the living things just beneath the ocean’s surface, invisible to our naked eye, are where the delicate, intricate balance of life exists and what Professor Fuhrman has devoted his life to research.  The Fuhrman Lab, which Professor Fuhrman founded and directs, is focused on marine microbial ecology, which all marine life and terrestrial life (yes us) depends upon to exist. Fuhrman’s research on the network of marine microorganisms speaks to the symbiotic narrative weave of life that connects all living organisms.  Come and join Professor Fuhrman and the polymath community to hear an epic tale that goes beyond what Homer could ever have imagined.  

Jed Fuhrman, McCulloch-Crosby Chair in Marine Biology & Professor of Biological Sciences

Jed Fuhrman serves as the McCulloch-Crosby Chair in Marine Biology and professor of biological sciences at USC. He researches the roles of microorganisms in natural marine ecosystems and the cycling of matter in the ocean, from the microscopic scale to the global scale. He also measures human pathogenic viruses at recreational beaches as a potential health hazard, and works on innovative ways to make sure measurements relatively easy and inexpensive. His team has discovered a major new group of Archaea inhabiting the deep sea and other novel microbial groups in coral reefs and other ocean habitats. Recently, his lab has determined patterns in diversity that help show how the microorganisms interact as a complex network. In the public health realm, his team has helped to link cases of illness to exposure to microbial and viral pathogens in the coastal zone. He received his B.S. in Biology from MIT and his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of California, San Diego.