2019 After Hours Lectures

Cytobots in the Bay: How technology is keeping Virginians safe

(October 24, 2019) Harmful algae blooms, or HABs, occur when algae in the water grow excessively and produce toxins and other harmful effects on the environment and people. Algal species capable of producing HABs have increased in abundance in the Chesapeake Bay during the last decade, causing concern among resource managers, industry members, health officials, and the public. Dr. Juliette Smith, faculty member at VIMS, is using an autonomous, underwater instrument called an Imaging FlowCytobot in the York River to address those concerns. The cytobot can be "trained" to continuously monitor the water and identify harmful algae species in real-time, providing an early-warning system for detecting HABs. Join us as Dr. Smith describes the innovative technology she is using to protect public health as well as her vision for a network of cytobots throughout the Bay. View the archived video.

Forecasting Tidal Flooding: Helping Hampton Roads prepare for storms and rising seas

(September 26, 2019) Have you ever wished you could ask Google if the roads along your travel route are flooded? Or wished you could know days in advance the extent to which your backyard will flood during a certain tide? Dr. Derek Loftis of VIMS is working to make these things a reality. Join us as Dr. Loftis shares how the use of innovative technologies and citizen scientists is helping Hampton Roads communities predict and prepare for flood events and rising seas. View the archived video.

Research around the World: Asia's last natural and unstudied major river delta

(August 29, 2019) Half a billion people live on river deltas, dynamic areas at high risk of land loss and flooding. Join us as VIMS professor Steve Kuehl describes his research on the Ayeyarwady Delta in Myanmar, one of the least-studied river deltas on Earth. Dr. Kuehl will explore the complexities of international research and tell how his findings can help understand and predict how environmental and human-induced changes impact deltas, and the people that inhabit them, around the world. View the archived video. 

Research Vessels Then and Now

(June 27, 2019) In 2018, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science welcomed a new, state-of-the-art research vessel, the R/V Virginia. The Virginia is the most modern, most capable marine research vessel in its size class in the U.S. This vessel provides a comparison to the re-created colonial ships docked just miles away at the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg. Join us as Hank Mosley from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and Durand Ward from VIMS compare navigation methods and research equipment as well as shipboard life from colonial times to today. View the archived video.

The Story of the Coelacanth

(March 28, 2019) The Coelacanth is a fish thought to have gone extinct more than 65 million years ago, until a living specimen was caught by commercial fishermen in 1938 in South Africa. In the 80 years since its discovery, scientists have learned a great deal about this living fossil. Join Dr. Eric Hilton, Curator of the VIMS Nunnally Ichthyology Collection, as he tells the thrilling story of the Coelacanth, from its fossil record to its unlikely discovery, where it lives, what it eats, and why it is thought to be more closely related to four-legged land animals than to other fishes. The coelacanth specimen from VIMS' collection will be on display, providing an opportunity to view this rare and fascinating fish. View the archived video.

The Young and the Restless: Tracking the Sea Turtle Lost Years

(February 28, 2019) Until recently, little has been known about the oceanic stage of a sea turtle's life—the years between when a baby sea turtle leaves its nest and when it returns to the coastline as a large juvenile. These "lost years" have long been the missing puzzle piece in our understanding of sea turtle life history. To fill in this gap, Dr. Kate Mansfield, Director of the University of Central Florida's Marine Turtle Research Group and a VIMS alumna, uses innovative technologies (along with help from a local manicurist) to track young sea turtles during their oceanic years. Join us as Dr. Mansfield tells the life story of Atlantic sea turtles like no one else can. View the archived video.

Virginia's Barrier Islands: Breakneck change in a rapidly changing world

(January 31, 2019) Barrier islands and their marshes and bays are home to diverse ecological communities and large-scale infrastructure. Although they are a seemingly permanent feature of our coasts, these islands are among the most rapidly-changing landscapes on Earth. No barrier island system on the U.S. East Coast changes as swiftly as that of Virginia's Eastern Shore. Join us as Dr. Christopher Hein shares the geology, human history, and modern change seen along barrier islands in Virginia and around the world. View the archived video.