Science On Tap: "Aliens in our Rocky Reefs"

Dec 6 @ 7:00pm

Rita Mehta
Associate Professor, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UC Santa Cruz
"Aliens in our Rocky Reefs"

Finding an eel amongst the immense boulder and cobble habitats in southern California may seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, we have discovered that if you bait the traps, morays will come. Since 2010, my lab has been slowly uncovering the natural history of moray eels around Catalina Island, one of the five Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. I’ll begin our journey by explaining how I started studying moray eels and why I think morays are so fascinating. Throughout the talk I’ll highlight our latest findings which include how these eels arrive around Catalina, where these eels are found, how large these morays grow as well as their estimated life span, and most importantly, their dietary breadth. By the end of the evening, you will remember that when you enter the waters of southern California, never stick your fingers in the cracks because you may not get them back!