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Worms can be found in almost every ecosystem on Earth. Join to learn how they move, find their homes and sense the world around them. Worms are more important to our world than we could ever imagine.
Settling down - house hunting in the sea.
Elizabeth Williams (Post Doctoral Researcher)
The larval stages of many marine animals drift through our oceans with the plankton. But they can’t stay larvae forever, at some point they need to get on with their life! The planktonic larvae of animals like corals, starfish, crabs, oysters, and of course, worms, need to find the best place on the ocean floor to settle down and start living their adult life. I explore how microscopic larvae use their tiny sensory systems to search the ocean floor and select a settlement site that gives them the best chance for future success.
Worms, at large!
Reza Shahidi (Post Doctoral Researcher)
There are an estimated 90 billion neurons on average in a human brain. Studying and deciphering such a tangled mass is a daunting task. What can we learn from the nervous system of a tiny marine organism? To find out and to get a better picture I zoom into the sub-cellular world of a tiny worm. What could one find there at microscopic level that would shed some light on the working of the nervous system, and perhaps help us to understand our own? Join me to find out.
How do worms move?
Sanja Jasek (PhD Researcher)
There are many ways an animal can move around in the sea – sharks swim by moving their tail from side to side, crabs walk along the sea bottom, starfish crawl. But what about the worms? That depends on what kind of worm we're talking about - they are a lot more diverse than you may think. Not to get lost in all this diversity, I will talk about just one species of worm. That should make it simple, right? Well, not quite – even this one species can move in different ways, and the preferred mode of locomotion depends on several factors, including their developmental stage.
How does a marine worm sense the world?
Luis Alberto Bezares Calderón (PhD Researcher)
We have five senses by which we perceive the world around us. What senses do animals living in the sea need to survive? Are they similar or completely different to ours? We are trying to understand the sensory systems of plankton, a group of organisms drifting with the water currents. I will delve with the audience into the sensory abilities of these critters, introducing the neurobiological and genetic tools we use in the lab to study one of them, a tiny marine worm. We will see what this unassuming worm is able to achieve and how its senses relate to ours and to those of other animals.
From Weed to Worms: Do Our Drug Habits Impact Marine Animals?
Cameron Hird (Post Doctoral Researcher)
Pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs are well-known for their impacts on human wellbeing and behaviour, but what happens to them after we take them? A large proportion end up being released from sewage treatment to environments such as rivers and estuaries where they can have impacts on the marine animals that live there. One of the most abundant types of species that live here: worms! So if you want to know what happens to a worm on Prozac, or a worm on Coke, then this is the talk for you! #WhatAboutTheWorms