07 January 2015

13 Jan (Tue): Talk about marine flatworms

We have amazing flatworms on Singapore's shores! They are colourful and some are devious. Like this one that resembles a ferocious nudibranch commonly found in our waters!
A flatworm (possibly Pseudoceros sp. and a new sighting)
that looks like the commonly seen
Orange-spotted nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp)
during the Mega Marine Survey
Learn more about these animals in this free talk "Travelling into the Unexplored World of Polyclad Flatworms" by Dr D. Marcela Bolanos from the University of New Hampshire, USA.

About the talk
The order Polycladida represents a highly diverse group of free-living marine flatworms. The main characteristic of the group is a highly branched intestine, from which they derive their name (where ‘Poly’ means ‘many’ while ‘clade’ means ‘branch’). They commonly dwell on coral and rocky reefs, and may live in association with other invertebrates, especially molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.

All polyclads are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs. Polyclads can be very colourful, so much so that they are often mistaken as nudibranchs, a type of slug. It is said that they obtain their striking colours from their food, and the colours warn predators that they are distasteful.

Dr D. Marcela Bolanos has worked on polyclads collected from different countries in the wider Caribbean which included the continental Caribbean coastlines of Colombia, and Central America; the insular coasts of the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the Florida Keys; and a number of small islands. In this seminar, Dr Bolanos will be sharing about the biology, ecology and reproduction behaviour of polyclads as well as their importance in other fields such as medicine and aquaculture .
click on image for larger view

About the speaker
Dr Bolanos has been working on the taxonomy and systematics of polyclads since her undergraduate years. Besides taxonomy and systematics, she also worked on embryonic development and life histories of polyclads during her graduate studies. Her results were published in high-impact journals such as Evolution and Development and she was awarded the Excellence in Graduate Research award from the Department of Zoology, University of New Hamsphire. Dr Bolanos is currently an affiliate assistant professor in University of New Hampshire and her research involves the regeneration of polyclads with emphasis on the molecular mechanisms that regulate cellular proliferation and differentiation.

Wallace Lecture Series
The Wallace Lecture Series was a series of important lectures delivered in the 1960s by well-known biologists in the then University of Malaya. These lectures stimulated discussions and encouraged exploration of new ideas in systematics, ecology and natural heritage.
It seemed especially appropriate and timely that this lecture series, named after one of the two discoverers of modern theory of evolution, should be “resurrected” to further research interest and activities in Singapore’s rich biodiversity.
This is the eighth Wallace Lecture Series delivered by a Shell Visiting Research Scientist, brought in by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (National University of Singapore), in collaboration with National Biodiversity Centre (National Parks Board) and supported by Shell Singapore.

Date: 13 Jan (Tue)
Time: 7-8.30pm (Light refreshements will be served at 6.30pm)
Venue: Function Hall, Botany Centre 1, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Contact: Ms Ng Juat Ying at NG_Juat_Ying@nparks.gov.sg

Thanks to Ivan Kwan, here is the storify for the talk.

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