OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Science Pub Corvallis presents ‘Catch of the Day: Sustainable or Not?’ on July 13

07/10/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The fish and seafood bounty just off the Oregon coast is one of the state’s most precious and appreciated natural resources, from iconic silver salmon to razor clams to ling cod. But how can you make sure that enjoying any of these delicacies isn’t contributing to the stress that climate change, invasive species and human impacts have on Oregon’s special coastal ecosystems?

Join Oregon State University Associate Professor of Fisheries Selina Heppell on Monday, July 13, for an exploration of that question as part of Science Pub-Corvallis, the monthly series that features informal, lay-friendly science presentations in the friendly atmosphere of the Old World Deli, 341 SW 2nd St. in downtown Corvallis.

Heppell’s presentation, “Catch of the Day: Sustainable or Not?,” gets underway at 6 p.m. Science Pub Corvallis regulars know that patrons should arrive early to ensure seating and a chance to get food and drinks before the presentation begins. Each presentation since the series began in April has drawn a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 patrons.

In addition to her position in OSU’s top-ranked Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife, part of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Heppell is an adjunct faculty member in the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences. She serves on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, and her coastal research focuses on fishers, populations of various fish species and ways to harvest them sustainably.

Her research often focuses on the oldest and slowest-growing animals in the sea: turtles, sharks, sturgeon and west coast rockfish. “These marine animals share three traits: long lifespans, late age at maturity and threats from overharvest,” writes Heppell on her Web site. “…I am particularly interested in how these animals will respond to climate change and increasing human populations on our coastlines.”

Heppell often works with her husband, Scott Heppell, also a faculty member and researcher in Fisheries and Wildlife. Their work has taken them, among other places, to Eastern Europe, where they teach a course on conservation biology, and the Caribbean to study sex-changing fishes.

Corvallis Science Pub presentations are free and open to the public, though attendees are responsible for their own food and drink. Corvallis Science Pub is a joint presentation of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Downtown Corvallis Association and OSU. For more information, visit http://www.omsi.edu/index.php/sciencepubcorvallis or Corvallis Science Pub on Facebook.