"Alien Invasion": UH Manoa's Celia Smith to speak at Downtown Speakers Program on Sept. 8

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Karin Mackenzie, (808) 956-4051
Colleges of Arts & Sciences
Posted: Aug 26, 2005

HONOLULU — The Colleges of Arts & Sciences of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa continue the Downtown Speakers Program with a lecture on Thursday, Sept. 8, by botany professor Celia Smith. The lecture will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the American Savings Bank Tower, 1001 Bishop Street, 8th floor, Room 805. It is free and open to the public and attendees are welcome to bring brown bag lunches.

The impact of alien species in Hawaiʻi can profoundly change the state‘s ecosystems. On coasts and among reefs, invasions of alien species have already changed some of the marine environments. Research over the last seven years has documented these impacts in case by case investigations to reveal some common themes that underlie these separate invasions. Many new opportunities for community involvement exist in an effort to heal these reefs and shift the ecological balance back to native species.

Smith‘s principal research interests have been geared to understand the biology of marine algae, especially physiological and ecological mechanisms that allow for ecological success among native and alien algae. Working with students and postdoctoral fellows, she has examined the physiological features of fast-growing alien species as reefs are overgrown.

Smith‘s contributions to reef algal research have led to invitations to present findings to the U.S. Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee, and U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. She is a member of the Hawaiʻi Coral Reef Initiative Management Committee, has brought in over $2 million in research funding, and volunteers with the Hawaiʻi Marine Algae group, a group recognized for conservation efforts by the Coastal America Award.

For more information, call the Colleges of Arts & Sciences‘ Office of Community & Alumni Relations at 956-4051.