Monday, June 3, 2013

6 Jun (Thu): The Wallace Lectures "Copepods -- an introduction to the 'Insects of the Sea'" by Prof Rony Huys

What are copepods? And why do they matter?
Come for this special talk by Prof Rony Huys to find out more. Prof Rony is here for the Southern Expedition of the Mega Marine Survey.

About the talk
No group of plants or animals on Earth exhibits the range of morphological diversity as seen among the extant Crustacea. This structural disparity is best demonstrated by the Copepoda, which show an immense vertical distribution – from the abyss to 5,500 m altitude, spanning three quarters of the possible global vertical range on the planet. Copepods are aquatic microcrustaceans – the microscopical relatives of the crabs and the shrimps and are often dubbed the “insects of the sea” – usually ranging in size between 200 μm and 5 mm. They have colonized the biggest environment on Earth – the massive 1,347 million km cubic volume of water in the global oceans, made the transition from the sea to all freshwater habitats up to the Himalayan mountains, and have entered into symbiotic relationships with virtually ever marine phylum, from sponges to chordates, including mammals and reptiles. They underpin the world’s freshwater and marine ecosystems, are sensitive bio-indicators of local and global climate change, key ecosystem service providers, and parasites of economically important aquatic animals. Copepods sustain the majority of world fisheries and through their roles as vectors of disease, also have a number of direct and indirect effects on human health and quality of life.

About the speaker
Professor Rony Huys, Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London
Prof Rony is the world authority for Copepods. He is also the presidentof the World Association of Copepodologists. Prof Rony has published papers and books on Copepods extensively since 1985. From marine organisms, mangroves to groundwater, he has described many genus and new species of Copepods from all around the world. He has also defined the phylogeny, diversity and evolution of copepods found in different organisms.

Wallace Lecture Series
The Wallace Lecture Series was a series of important lectures delivered in the 1960s by well-known biologists in the then University of Malaya. These lectures stimulated discussion and encouraged the exploration of new ideas in systematics, ecology and natural heritage. It seemed especially appropriate and timely that this lecture series, named after one of the two discoverers of the modern theory of evolution, should be “resurrected” to further research interest and activity in Singapore’s rich biodiversity. This is the second of the Wallace Lecture Series, delivered by an invited Research Scientist brought in by the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research of the National University of Singapore, in conjunction with the National Biodiversity Centre (National Parks Board); and supported by Shell Singapore.

The talk is free but registration is required online at

The talk is organised by the National Parks Board and the National University of Singapore and sponsored by Shell.

Date: 6 Jun (Thu)

Time: 7-8.30pm
Venue: Function Hall, Botany Centre Level One, Singapore Botanic Gardens map on the SBG website
Website and contact:

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