Sunflower Star Webinar

February 16, 2021 - 6:30 PM
Shoreline Education for Awareness

Sunflower Sea Star.\Photo courtesy of Oregon State University.

Bandon’s Shoreline Education for Awareness (SEA) is presenting a webinar by Sara Hamilton, a PhD candidate in Oregon State University’s Department of Integrative Biology, on the topic “Going, Going.... Gone? Conservation Outlook for the Sunflower Star.”  The talk, on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m., is free and open to the public.

One of the largest and fastest sea stars in the world, the Sunflower Star used to be a common sight for scuba divers off the West Coast’s shore. As voracious predators, they helped control the abundance of other species, including kelp-munching sea urchins. When Sea Star Wasting Syndrome hit in 2013, however, this star was one of the most impacted species. Eight years later, using data gathered from Alaska to Baja, Hamilton’s research group quantified just how badly their populations were impacted and now are asking: Where are they left? Are there any ways we can help the species recover? What does this mean for kelp forests? This presentation will cover diseases, the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List, kelp forests, endangered species, and more! 

Sara Hamilton is a subtidal ecologist who studies kelp forest ecology in nearshore Oregon, focusing on population dynamics of bull kelp and trophic ecology of purple urchins. She also works on projects focusing on marine protected areas and on global fishing effort.

To attend the webinar, go to https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_75r0cdGPQZuz2QIKR0b0zw.