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The History and Future of Whales

Lecture Archives:

UT Campus, Welch Hall 2.224

5:45-7 - Pre-lecture Fun
7-8 - Lecture
8-8:30 - Q & A Session

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The Live Webcast will start at 7pm. Please log on at least 15 minutes before 7pm to download the necessary plug-ins to view our webcast.

Welch is located on the corner of 24th Street and Speedway. Building & Parking Maps

In the News:

BBC News - Whales' recovery 'vastly overestimated'

Whale populations are too low to resume commercial hunting, geneticists find

Science News for Kids

ABC Science Online - Gene study blows whaling out of the water

Discover - Extent of Great Whale Slaughter Worse Than Previously Thought

Thursday, November 16, 2006 - 7 PM CT
Archived Lecture Available Soon

The History and Future of Whales

by Dr. Stephen R. Palumbi
Professor of Biological Sciences, Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station

What is the Lecture About?
Scientists use new technologies to reveal untold mysteries about whales and provide information on whale history that may be crucial to their survival in the future. Dr. Stephen Palumbi, a renowned marine biologist and professor at Stanford, will discuss how he uses genetic techniques to estimate historic whale populations and how his findings play an important role in decisions of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). He recently published in the journal Science that DNA evidence indicates that before commercial whaling began, whale populations were 10 times larger than scientists previously believed. The IWC guidelines state that there can be no whaling until populations have returned to at least 54% of their historic levels, but their estimates are based on unreliable whaling records kept by ships and dating back to the mid 19th century. According to these previous estimates, many whale populations have nearly recovered to the required 54% of their historic levels, but the new genetic analysis suggests it will take at least another 50 -100 years.

What Can I Do?
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch - Print a wallet-sized card with info on which seafood is sustainable and which isn't.

Blue Ocean Institute, Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood

Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyer
Dr. Stephen R. Palumbi introduces himself and talks briefly about ocean management, whale survival, and his research on whales. Want to learn more? Come to his talk on November 16, 2006.
Play video
Time: 0:49 min:sec   Size: 6.15 Mb    Format: QuickTime

Presenter's Biosketch

Stephen R. Palumbi is a professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station. He and other research scientists in the Palumbi Lab study genetics, evolution, conservation, population biology, and systematics of a diverse array of marine organisms. He uses molecular genetic techniques in conservation-related research, including the identification of whale and dolphin products available in commercial markets and the genetics of marine reserves designed for conservation and fisheries enhancement. His 2003 publication in the journal Science on Whales before Whaling in the North Atlantic suggests that whale populations were 10 times larger than historical records indicate, which has critical implications for the future of whaling and whale conservation.

Dr. Palumbi received his Ph.D. from University of Washington in marine ecology in 1984. In 1996, he received a Pew Fellowship for Marine Conservation Research. He has published on the genetics and evolution of butterflyfishes, bryozoans, cone snails, corals, sea urchins, sharks, spiders, shrimps, and whales. His recent books include The Evolution Explosion: How humans cause rapid evolutionary change and Marine Reserves: An Ecosystem Tool for Marine Management and Conservation.


Palumbi Lab at Hopkins Marine Station

Publication in Science on Whales Before Whaling in the North Atlantic

Short Attention Span Science Theater - ôReality Science" films by Dr. Palumbi

Lecture materials are for educational purposes ONLY. We request that the use of any of these materials include an acknowledgement of the presenter and the Hot Science - Cool Talks of the Environmental Science Institute. Also include the disclaimer: May not be duplicated or commercially distributed as they are intended for education and private/classroom audiences.

The Hot Science - Cool Talks Outreah Lecture Series is sponsored by the AT&T Foundation and ConocoPhilips.
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