Weisz to share marine sponge research

Jeremy Weisz, professor of biologyJeremy Weisz, associate professor of biology at Linfield College, will present “Symbiosis in the Sea: Studying Relationships between Marine Sponges and Marine Microbes” on Wednesday, March 15, at 7 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall at Linfield.

Weisz will share his recent work on Florida sponges, especially the bioeroding sponge Cliona varians, and their unique symbioses with microbes. He will discuss how sponges enter into mutualistic interactions with bacteria and algae to reduce their need to filter feed.  Weisz will share how Cliona sponges use these symbiotic interactions to erode the coral reef, in ways that are both harmful and beneficial to the reef.

Weisz, a Linfield professor since 2010, received a bachelor of science degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in marine sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received the 2016 Samuel H. Graf Faculty Achievement Award given at Linfield. He also received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund research with Linfield students and has also worked to bring to Linfield the Small World Initiative, a national program which engages students with real-world microbial research.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month. For more information, call 503-883-2409.