This presentation is part of the Young Scientist Webinar Series, hosted by the Cape Perpetua Collaborative featuring graduate students and postdocs sharing their ocean research.
An outbreak of Sea Star Wasting (SSW) syndrome on the Oregon Coast in 2014 decimated populations of the Ochre Star (Pisaster ochraceus) a well-known and ecologically important predator species in rocky shore habitats. The ecological effects of the disease outbreak are widespread, but in some places smaller predators may be able to compensate for loss of the top predator. This talk will discuss the roles of two predator species, a small snail and a sea star that was not severely affected by SSW, in mitigating ecological effects caused by the decline in Ochre Stars, how predator effects vary along the Oregon coast, and how our understanding of SSW is shaping how scientists respond to disease outbreaks in the sea.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER, SILKE BACHHUBER, PHD STUDENT IN THE MENGE-LUBCHENCO LAB AT OSU
Silke Bachhuber (she/her) is a PhD student in the Menge-Lubchenco laboratory at Oregon State University. Her research is focused on understanding the impact of Sea Star Wasting Syndrome and climate change on rocky intertidal predator communities on the coasts of Oregon, California, and New Zealand’s South Island. She is broadly interested in the effects of ocean acidification and warming on coastal marine ecosystems, and how scientists and community members can work together to conserve vulnerable ocean ecosystems.