Ocean Outbreaks in the Salish Sea

Montage with close-up of bacteria and ocean waves

Thursday, January 14, 2021
4:30 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time)




Check out this video to watch the Huxley Speaker Series & The Salish Sea Institute: Ocean Outbreaks in the Salish Sea.

While the COVID19 pandemic is creating new awareness of the dangers of multi-host infectious disease for humans on land, big impacts of infectious pathogens are occurring under the ocean. The Harvell lab is focusing on the ecology of underwater disease of foundation and keystone species and their changing risk with ocean warming. I will talk about transmission biology and impacts of an infectious protozoan, Labyrinthula zosterae, in eelgrass meadows from San Diego to Alaska and also an outbreak affecting over twenty species of seastar in our waters and resulting in endangerment of sunflower stars. In both cases and several other examples from oysters to salmon, ocean warming affects risk of disease. My recent book, Ocean Outbreak, also describes the increasing disease risk posed by a changing climate.

More information about the speaker series is available here.

Drew Harvell

Drew Harvell


Drew Harvell is Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University and Curator of the Blaschka Marine Invertebrate Collection. Her research on the health and sustainability of marine ecosystems has taken her from the reefs of Mexico, Indonesia, and Hawaii to the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest and resulted in over 170 academic articles in journals such as ScienceNature, and Ecology.  Her current research is focused on health of the Salish Sea. She is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and awarded the 2020 Cornell SUNY Chancellors Award, 2019 Seattle Aquarium Conservation Research Award, PROSE AWARD (Ocean Outbreak), National Outdoor Book Award (A Sea of Glass), Rachel Carson Environment Book Award, Honorable Mention (A Sea of Glass. She serves on the Advancement Board of Friday Harbor Marine Labs and the Science Board of the Ocean Health Initiative of Centre Scientifique Monaco.

Upcoming Talks

January 21, 2021
Speaker: Ruth Miller
Title: Salmon People: Tracing Indigenous resistance across the Pacific Northwest 

January 28, 2021
Speaker: Adam Huggins & Mendel Skulski, Co-Hosts, Future Ecologies Podcast
Title: Scaling Change: Imagining Future Ecologies

February 4, 2021
Speaker: Mike Sato
Title: Read All About It: What's the News of the Salish Sea?

Questions and Accommodations

Stefan Freelan is the coordinator of the Huxley Speaker Series. Feel free to email stefan@wwu.edu or call (360) 650-2949 if you have any questions or comments.
There will be auto-captions available for this event. To request closed captions, please mark the request on the registration form. Advance notice of three days to one week is appreciated.