Distinguished Zoologist to Lecture at Gustavus

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by

Dr. Richard Kvitek

Dr. Richard Kvitek

The Gustavus Adolphus College chapter of Sigma Xi will host Dr. Richard (Rikk) G. Kvitek for a pair of free public lectures on March 21-22. Dr. Kvitek is a Professor in the Division of Science and Environmental Policy at California State University Monterey Bay, where he directs the CSUMB Seafloor Mapping Lab.

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, Kvitek will deliver a lecture titled ““You’ve Got to Be Kidding!” to “Ah-Ha”: Hope for our oceans through insight and innovation”. The talk, which is intended for a general audience, discusses innovative ways to address the unprecedented threats of climate change, sea level rise, ocean acidification, pollution, fishery declines, coastal erosion, algal blooms, and storm intensification on the coastal oceans and communities.

At 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22, Kvitek will present a more technical seminar appropriate for an audience with an introductory science background, titled ““Mediation of the foraging behavior, spatial distribution and ecological influence of sea otters and shorebirds by harmful algal blooms”. Both lectures will be held in the Alfred Nobel Hall of Science’s Wallenberg Auditorium.

Kvitek obtained his bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from Moss Landing Marine Labs, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. His research with whales, sea otters, sea birds, fish, icebergs, submarine canyons, and numerous invertebrates from the Artic to the Antarctic has brought novel insights to the fields of benthic ecology, seafloor disturbance, habitat mapping and species relations, and the effects of harmful algal bloom toxins in marine food chains.

Kvitek has authored more than 45 peer reviewed publications, and more than 80 successful grant proposals totaling more than $25 million. He was recognized in 2004 by California State University with the Wang Family Excellence Award in the Sciences. In 2009 he received the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Award for Science and Research, and in 2010 he was awarded the Presidents Medal by California State University, Monterey Bay. You can read more about Kvitek’s work at seafloor.csumb.edu.

Sigma Xi is the national research and scientific honor society, founded in 1886 by a group of Cornell students and a faculty member. Its purpose is the encouragement of original investigation in science, pure and applied. More than 500 chapters of Sigma Xi now exist across North America. The Gustavus chapter hosts a distinguished lecturer every two years. For more information about Dr. Kvitek’s visit to Gustavus, contact Assistant Professor of Chemistry Amanda Nienow at anienow@gustavus.edu.


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