University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Marine Sciences Seminar: Melissa McKinney

Friday, April 22, 2016
11:00am – 12:00pm

Avery Point Campus
Marine Sciences Building, Seminar Room 103

Presenting: Melissa McKinney, UConn Natural Resources and the Environment

Seminar Title: Marine mammal feeding ecology and pollutant exposures in a changing Arctic

Host: Rob Mason

Many of the world’s ecosystems have been severely perturbed by human activities. Recent anthropogenically driven climate change has resulted in shifts in community composition and species interactions within ecosystems. Studies suggest that the Arctic, warming at about twice the global average, may foreshadow changes to come at lower latitudes. Furthermore, and despite long distances from source regions, Arctic environments are subject to contamination by a complex suite of legacy and current-use chemicals including mercury and persistent organic pollutants. Levels of these pollutants increase through the food web, leading to elevated tissue concentrations in high trophic level species, such as marine mammals. Until recently, there was virtually no indication as to whether climate change, either directly or through modulation of biological or ecological factors, may impact pollutant dynamics in these highly exposed Arctic species. Here, a series of studies across various Arctic systems will demonstrate how climate change has altered species’ feeding ecology and, consequently, their pollutant exposures. These findings underscore the need to better understand the relationships between climate change and other environmental stressors in the Arctic and beyond.

Please see this page for additional seminar information and cancellations:

Contact:, 860-405-9152, or 860-405-9151

Marine Sciences Department (primary)

Control Panel