HRI Science Seminar Series - "Benthic Population Dynamics and Biodiversity Studies in Danish Estuaries"

December 7, 2018
11:00 am
December 7, 2018
12:00 pm
Harte Research Institute
Conference Room 127
6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78412

Dr. Gary T. Banta
Assistant Professor
Department of Science & Environment
Roskilde University, Denmark

The Roskilde Fjord-Isefjord Estuary complex is located in Denmark, near the seaward entrance to the Baltic Sea, and is typical of many temperate/boreal estuaries in that it is subjected to dynamic fluctuations in environmental conditions such as temperature and salinity. Such estuaries are challenging environments and have lower biodiversity than neighboring freshwater and full marine environments. I will present highlights from our studies of the population dynamics of the estuarine polychaete, Pygospio elegans, which displays different reproductive modes in this habitat. We investigated both the genetic and environmental basis for the observed population dynamics. We also examined the relationships between genetic diversity in this species and the benthic community biodiversity in these estuaries. The goal of these studies is to assess the role of genetics, biological interactions and environmental conditions for controlling estuarine population and community dynamics.

Gary T. Banta is an Associate Professor in Environmental Biology and Environmental Risk at Roskilde University in Denmark. His research interests are broad, but generally related to coastal and benthic ecosystems ecology and environmental analysis. He is originally from the States and has a B.Sc. in Science and Environmental Change from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay (1983) and a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the Boston University Marine Program (1992). He has been in Denmark since 1991 when he travelled there on a NATO post doc scholarship. Dr. Banta is currently a visiting scholar at Harte working with Dr. Paul Montagna and Dr. David Yoskowitz on benthic ecosystem services.