Carmela Cuomo, associate professor of biology and environmental science, will president a talk on Thursday, Feb. 6, titled “Undermat Mining in Cyanobacterial Mats: Modern and Ancient.” The talk will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Dodds Hall 205.
Microbial mats and biofilms represent some of the oldest ecological communities on the Earth. They are also one of the most diverse and biogeochemically-coupled communities, consisting of a suite of prokaryotic and eukaryotic, photoautotrophic, chemoautotrophic, and heterotrophic bacteria and small meiofaunal and megafaunal organisms. The exact nature of the relationship between microbial mat bacterial communities and small metazoan organisms has garnered considerable interest as it has possible bearing on the decline of mat communities and biofilms and the rise of the early metazoans during the Precambrian.
Cuomo is a marine biologist who studies the ecology of Long Island Sound. She has studied the progress of invasive species, such as the sea squirt or Styela clava, the challenges posed by declining oxygenation, and whether algae in the sound can be harvested and cultivated to produce bio-diesel fuel. She also has done extensive work on breeding horseshoe crabs in captivity. This is important because the crabs do typically breed in captivity. An extract of blood from horseshoe crabs is used by the pharmaceutical and medical device industries to ensure that products such as intravenous drugs, vaccines, and medical devices are free of bacterial contamination.
The lecture is part of a seminar series being presented by the Department of Biology and Environmental Science in honor of professor Henry Voegeli’s many years of excellence in teaching and service to UNH.
Refreshments will be served in Dodds Hall 320 following the talk.
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University operates a satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy, and offers programs at several locations throughout Connecticut and in New Mexico and California. UNH provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. The University enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.