If you like eating hamburgers, you can thank a ciliate! Ciliates are microscopic-sized protozoans that play an important part in various types of ecosystems. They inhabit the stomachs of cows helping them digest their food, are useful residents of sewage treatment plants, and live in our lakes, streams and oceans. Ciliates move by waving hair-like structures called cilia. Molecular researchers around the world study ciliates, as their cells are large, sometimes more complex than human cells, and they are found almost everywhere.
The International Research Coordination Network for Biodiversity of Ciliates (IRCN-BC) will be meeting on Guam the last week of July 26th-29th. University of Guam scientist, Dr. Chris Lobban is organizing this workshop on ciliates, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Guam will be hosting scientists from Germany, China, Canada, Russia, Korea, and the United States. The attendees will participate in a collecting blitz visiting Guam’s coral reefs, mangroves, aquaculture ponds, and streams. “Since there has not been much study of ciliates in local fresh water or salt water, our goal is to develop a checklist of ciliates for Guam and I am certain we will find species that are new to science and have not been previously described,” said Lobban.
Dr. Allan Warren from the Natural History Museum in London will be giving a talk for the general public Monday evening, July 25th at the University of Guam. His talk is entitled, “What have ciliates ever done for us?” and will be held at the University of Guam Science Building, Room 200, at 7p.m. The public is enthusiastically invited to attend.
The theme of the workshop is “How can we advance integration of the three dimensions of biodiversity: function, taxonomy, and genetics?” with the goals of facilitating collaboration in understanding diversity patterns, processes, and ecological roles of ciliates between the studies of genetic, taxonomic and functional sciences.
For more information, please contact Dr. Lobban at 688-2992 or via email email@example.com.