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DATE : Thursday 06 June 2013
TIME: 7 pm to 8:30 pm
VENUE: Function Hall, Botany centre level 1, Singapore Botanic Gardens
About the talk –No group of plants or animals on Earth exhibits the range of morphological diversity as seen among the extant Crustacea. This structural disparity is best demonstrated by the Copepoda, which show an immense vertical distribution – from the abyss to 5,500 m altitude, spanning three quarters of the possible global vertical range on the planet. Copepods are aquatic microcrustaceans – the microscopical relatives of the crabs and the shrimps and are often dubbed the “insects of the sea” – usually ranging in size between 200 μm and 5 mm. They have colonized the biggest environment on Earth – the massive 1,347 million km cubic volume of water in the global oceans, made the transition from the sea to all freshwater habitats up to the Himalayan mountains, and have entered into symbiotic relationships with virtually ever marine phylum, from sponges to chordates, including mammals and reptiles. They underpin the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems, are sensitive bio-indicators of local and global climate change, key ecosystem service providers, and parasites of economically important aquatic animals. Copepods sustain the majority of world fisheries and through their roles as vectors of disease, also have a number of direct and indirect effects on human health and quality of life.
About the speaker – Rony is the world authority for Copepods. He is also the president of the World Association of Copepodologists and has published papers and books on Copepods extensively since 1985. From marine organisms, mangroves to groundwater, he has described many genera and new species of Copepods from all around the world. He has also defined the phylogeny, diversity and evolution of copepods found in different organisms.