Conservation, Restoration and the Challenge of Complex Life Histories

Brian Bingham

Professor, College of the Environment; Director, Marine and Coastal Science, WWU

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Loss of corals around the world is a well-publicized example of change in our oceans, but in the Salish Sea we have seen abalone nearly disappear while wasting syndrome has devastated seastar populations. At the same time, invasive European green crab populations threaten to overwhelm some local habitats. A feature common to corals, abalone, seastars, and green crabs is a life history that includes multiple life stages. Such complex life cycles create special challenges to studying, understanding, and managing invertebrate populations, yet research that addresses all life stages is critical in our efforts to protect and restore our marine environments.

Brian Bingham

Brian Bingham is Director of Marine and Coastal Science at Western Washington University. His research focuses on marine invertebrate ecology with a recent emphasis on symbiosis between sea anemones and the photosynthetic algae they host. He has taught courses in invertebrate biology, experimental design and statistics, and science writing. He also direct the Nationals Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program at the Shannon Point Marine Center.