Salamanders and Algae: From Roommates to Intimate Partners

Friday, Apr 30, 2021 at 10:00am

Online
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538

Please call before attending any community events. It is likely that they will be postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. You can find CDC coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP has additional resources at aarp.org/coronavirus.

Each spring the vernal pools throughout our region host a flurry of activity just below the surface. Amphibians meet in these locations to reproduce, leaving behind their eggs and offspring. Dr. John Burns of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences visits our local vernal pools to study the symbiotic relationship between algae and spotted salamander eggs and larva. Join us to learn about his work through an online presentation on Friday April 30th at 10 AM hosted by the Boothbay Region Land Trust. Yellow spotted salamanders migrate en masse to vernal pools to mate and lay eggs, which swell to form a dense jelly mass holding around 100 embryos each. These eggs and embryos are colonized by a tiny green alga, which have adapted to one another to both benefit from this arrangement. Alga invades the baby salamander tissues and cells forming the only known such association in any vertebrate. In this talk, Burns will speak about the salamander-alga association and discuss the context of why it is currently under intense scrutiny. The uniqueness of the interaction has implications for the development of our own adaptive immune systems. John Burns is a senior research scientist working at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. He received his bachelor’s degree in geoscience from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a master’s and Ph.D. in molecular biology from New York University. He spent five years broadening his horizons working on evolutionary biology and symbioses involving protists and algae at the American Museum of Natural History in New York before starting his own research group in Maine. Today he continues to work on symbiotic interactions, how DNA codes the shapes of cells, and how genetic patterns influence microbe functions in the world’s oceans.

Click here to Register

This event listing provided for the Boothbay Harbor community events calendar. Community events are not associated with or sponsored by AARP, but may be of interest to you. If you have an event to share, let us know!

Images provided by AmericanTowns.com, Ticketmaster

More from AARP in Boothbay Harbor

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »


Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at cdc.gov/coronavirus; additional AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today

JOIN FOR JUST $16 A YEAR

  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Boothbay Harbor
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner
JOIN NOW