Are sea urchins boring?

The Marine Biology Lab is organising a seminar next month…

Prof. Michael Russell, Villanova University, will be giving a seminar on the 8th of March ( 2PM).

The title of the seminar is:

Are sea urchins boring?

(Yes! And it is a fascinating story)

 The ‘interesting’ association between ‘boring’ sea urchins and their rocky substrates

The seminar will take place at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB),  Solbosch campus, room UC2.236 (building U, door C 2nd floor).
Looking forward to meeting you there!

Short news from DDU

The acidification experiment on the sea urchins is now running rather smoothly. An aquarium system has been set up and the Aquatronica material is doing a very good job for controlling the pH. The first results indicate that Sterechinus neumayeri is reacting very quickly to acidification: the acid-base balance of the inner fluid is already controlled after 4 days of progressive decrease of the sea water pH. This supports the hypothesis emitted in our previous work on Antarctic sea urchins and published in Global Change Biology (Collard et al. 2014, GCB doi: 10.1111/gcb.12735 )

Internship at STRI

During the last months of 2013, a PhD student of our lab (Quentin Jossart) went to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. This work was done in the laboratory of Dr Harilaos Lessios that has a deal of experience with sea-urchins genetics.

The work focused mainly on genetic analysis and especially on the characterization of microsatellite loci (highly polymorphic nuclear markers) for the burrowing sea-urchin Meoma ventricosa. In addition to genetics, several samplings were done in the central part (Portobello) and west part (Bocas del Toro, picture on the top) of the country in order to complete the genetic data set.

The main goal of this project is to evaluate the genetic structure of M. ventricosa inside the Caribbean Sea. Moreover, this structure could be compared to the pattern observed for a parasite of M. ventricosa. This comparison could help for revealing the factors that influence the dispersal in the Caribbean.

Meoma ventricosa (picture: