19 Jul 2019

Topic of Seminar: Chemical Signals in the Sea and the Roles of Natural Products in Chemical Defense and Attraction

Speaker: Prof. Valerie J. Paul, Director of the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida

Date: 19 July 2019 (Friday)
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Venue: Room 2304 (lifts 17-18), HKUST

Valerie will discuss her research in marine chemical ecology, including discoveries from many years of research in Florida, Belize and Guam. Valerie’s talk will focus on chemical signals in the sea and the roles of natural products in chemical defense and attraction. She will discuss research ranging from harmful algal blooms to settlement cues for coral and fish larvae on Caribbean reefs and provide examples of how small molecules produced by diverse marine organisms mediate many ecological and behavioral interactions in the ocean. These compounds can protect organisms from predators and diseases, play a role in harmful algal blooms and also serve as settlement cues for marine larvae. They can also be useful for biomedical purposes.

Biography of Prof. Valerie J. Paul:
Valerie J. Paul has served as Director of the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida since 2002. Since 2009, Valerie has also directed the Smithsonian’s Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program, which manages the Carrie Bow Cay Field Station in Belize. She received her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego in 1979 with majors in Biology and Studies in Chemical Ecology and her Ph.D. in Marine Biology in 1985 from the University of California San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Valerie joined the faculty of the University of Guam Marine Laboratory in 1985, served as Director of the Laboratory from 1991-1994, and as Professor from 1993-2002. Valerie’s research interests include marine chemical ecology, marine plant-herbivore interactions, coral reef ecology, harmful algal blooms and marine natural products. Her work is interdisciplinary, focusing on the ecological roles and possible biomedical applications of marine natural products.
Valerie was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1996 and was elected and served as chairperson of the Marine Natural Products Gordon Research Conference in 2000. In 2019, she was selected as the Silver Medal Award recipient by the International Society of Chemical Ecology, which recognizes outstanding contributions and career achievement in the discipline of chemical ecology. She was also selected as a Fellow of the American Society of Pharmacognosy for her contributions and sustained achievement in the field of natural products. Valerie recently served on the editorial board of the Journal of Natural Products and is currently on the editorial board of the journal Coral Reefs. She is the author or co-author of over 290 scientific research papers and review articles.

All Are Welcome!