6 July 2012
3pm - 4pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre BLT100, 5 Symonds Street, The University of Auckland
Inaugural lecture by Professor Kendall Clements, School of Biological Sciences
As consumers of plant material, herbivorous animals sit at the base of food webs in ecosystems. This is the case under the sea, as well as on land.
The main group of marine vertebrate herbivores are fishes, which are highly diverse and differ in many ways from their terrestrial herbivorous counterparts such as reptiles, birds and mammals. Furthermore, the main foods of marine herbivorous fishes are algae, which are very different to terrestrial plants.
The challenge of understanding herbivory in marine fishes therefore involves elaborating the highly distinct and diverse ways in which algae are ingested and digested, both in temperate settings such
as New Zealand and on coral reefs.
This has involved a wide range of approaches from diet studies through digestive physiology, to examining the evolution of the fishes and their microbial symbionts, including the discovery of the largest bacteria known.
The work has been conducted in many parts of the world under various field conditions, and suggests that extrapolations from terrestrial systems are fraught: herbivory in marine fishes breaks many of the “rules” that are thought to apply on land.
All are welcome to this public lecture.
Refreshments to follow lecture at 4pm in the Thomas Building Tearoom, 3a Symonds Street.