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Rates of infectious disease outbreaks are on the rise in our oceans. Fueled by sewage dumping, unregulated aquaculture, and drifting plastic in warming seas, ocean outbreaks are heralds of impending global environmental disaster. Renowned scientist Drew Harvell takes the stage with a daunting and urgent report of the rising risks of marine epidemics in Ocean Outbreak: Confronting the Rising Tide of Marine Disease. She underscores these diseases’ destructive potential to cause a mass die-off of wildlife from the bottom to the top of the food chain, impacting the health of ocean ecosystems as well as lives on land. Harvell shares twenty years of research and investigation of four iconic marine animals—corals, abalone, salmon, and starfish—demonstrating how these animals have been devastated by disease—and how they still have the potential to be saved. Join Harvell to learn how, through policy changes and the implementation of innovative solutions from nature, we can reduce major outbreaks, save some ocean ecosystems, and protect our fragile environment.
Drew Harvell is Professor of Marine Ecology at Cornell University. She has published over 170 scientific articles in leading journals and is a fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Her book A Sea of Glass received a National Outdoor Book Award and was recognized as one of the Smithsonian’s Best “Art Meets Science” Books of 2016.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.