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USC Sea Grant Program Hosts International Course at USC Lab on Catalina Island

May 12, 2011

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island. Photo by Emily Cavalcanti.

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Catalina Island. Photo by Emily Cavalcanti.

The USC Sea Grant program, part of the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies based in the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is sponsoring a one-day short course on the effects of marine pollution May 15 at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Santa Catalina Island. 

The short course is based on Sea Grant-funded research on endocrine effects on fishes conducted by Kevin Kelley, professor of biological sciences at California State University, Long Beach. The short course is being offered as part of the International Symposium on Pollution Responses in Marine Organisms (PRIMO). The conference, held in Long Beach May 15–18 and co-sponsored by the USC Sea Grant program, will be attended by scientists from 26 different countries.

The USC Sea Grant short course will cover the ways contaminants can disrupt the non-reproductive hormone systems of aquatic life – systems that control thyroid activity, growth, stress-response, metabolism, immune-response and other activities in marine animals.  Panelists will discuss case studies of neuroendocrine system disruption, and will highlight current knowledge of underlying mechanisms, different classes of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and the use of state-of-the-art technical approaches in studies of endocrine disruption. The course will conclude with an interactive discussion of phenotypic consequences of endocrine disruption in animals and their potential ecosystem impacts.

Kelley, one of the short course panelists, has worked on three projects funded through USC Sea Grant with funding from the California Ocean Protection Council. He currently directs the Environmental Endocrinology Laboratory at California State University, Long Beach.

Kelley will be joined at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center by colleagues from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Waterloo in Ontario. Fifty-five people are signed up for the workshop at the USC facility on Catalina Island: 26 are from the United States, and the rest are from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Vietnam.

USC Sea Grant is one of a dozen sponsors of the International Symposium on Pollutant Responses in Marine Organisms, the 16th in a series of biennial meetings. In roughly 120 talks, researchers from around the world will present findings related to toxins in fish, shellfish, amphibians and marine mammals.

For more information on the PRIMO symposium, including the USC Sea Grant short course, visit www.visitlongbeach.com/PRIMO.

More information on the Sea Grant program at USC can be found online at www.usc.edu/org/seagrant.

More information on the USC Dornsife Wrigley Marine Science Center can be found online at dornsife.usc.edu/wrigley.

More information on the USC Dornsife Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies can be found online at dornsife.usc.edu/wrigley.