The Vital Role of Seagrasses in Marine Ecosystems

TUE, JAN 10, 2017 (35:59)

Seagrasses are fundamental to the health of marine ecosystems, providing food and shelter to many organisms. Dr. Daru explains the vital role of seagrasses in maintaining marine life, and how different seagrass varieties vary in the ability to adapt to changing ocean environments around the world. This area of research is very important in the urgent effort today to save marine biodiversity. (Photo: Flickr/prilfish) NOTE: minor error at about 4:01 Dr. Daru meant to say marine plants evolved about 100 million yrs ago (not 100 yrs ago).

+ BIO: Barnabas Daru

Barnabas Daru, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Curator of the Ruth O’Brien Herbarium at Texas A&M University.

His research has sought to address two main goals that are fundamental to ecology and evolutionary biology of plants. The first is to gain a mechanistic understanding of the processes by which plant species diversity has evolved and is currently distributed and maintained. The second is to leverage specimen accessibility and emerging innovations in informatics, phylogenetics, and niche modeling to develop tools for conservation that will mitigate future biodiversity loss. To achieve these goals, he has built a field and laboratory research program that is highly collaborative and draws expertise from diverse approaches in science to characterize broad biodiversity patterns. Funding for the lab comes from the National Science Foundation.

Science for the Public