21 May 2021

Seminar Title: The fundamental role of ecology in conserving marine biodiversity
Speaker: Dr. Shelby Mcllroy, Research Assistant Professor, Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong

Date: 21 May 2021 (Friday)
Time: 03:00 pm – 04:00 pm
Venue: Room 6602 (Lift 31 – 32), 6/F Academic Building , HKUST
Meeting link: https://hkust.zoom.us/s/99499607505
Zoom Meeting ID: 994 9960 7505
Passcode: 660187

Abstract
“Biodiversity” refers to the incredible variety in the form and function of organisms that make up and sustain life on earth. Over the last century however, humans have caused rapid ecosystem change and massive biodiversity loss across the planet. To reverse course, we need a better understanding of how species interactions shape biodiversity. In this seminar, I will discuss the mechanisms that promote, maintain, and/or degrade biodiversity at various scales. Starting with a detailed study of nutritional exchange between corals and their genetically diverse microbial symbionts, to how regional patterns in biodiversity affect function at the ecosystem level, and what the genome can tell us about biodiversity hotspots of the future. As we enter this unprecedented era of human impacts on the earth’s systems, it is imperative that we prioritize the conservation and management of biodiverse systems and the services they provide.

Biography
Dr. Shelby McIlroy is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. As a molecular ecologist, she develops and employs genetic tools to understand the past, present and future of species and ecosystems. Dr. McIlroy received her Master’s in Marine Science at Moss Landing Marine Lab in Monterey Bay California and her Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Behaviour at SUNY University at Buffalo. Her early work focused on the ecology and evolution of coral symbiosis. Dr. McIlroy came to Hong Kong as a post-doctoral fellow at HKU where she expanded her work on corals to investigate how genetic diversity within the microbiome relates to coral resilience and whether this mechanism can be exploited in conservation. More recently she helped to establish and continues to lead MarineGEO-Hong Kong which investigates the connection between biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human health.

All Are Welcome!