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Free public lecture on February 25: "Marine Mammals as Health Sentinels for Oceans and Us"

21 February 2017

Gregory BossartA free public lecture titled "Marine Mammals as Health Sentinels for Oceans and Us" will be given by Gregory D. Bossart, the Senior Vice President for Animal Health, Research, and Conservation at the Georgia Aquarium, at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 25, in 100 Thomas Building on the Penn State University Park campus. The event concludes the six consecutive Saturday lectures in the 2017 Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science. The 2017 lecture series, titled "The Quest for One Healthy Planet," features scientists whose research is at the frontiers of knowledge about how the health of the Earth is affecting the health of people and other living species on our planet.

During his lecture on February 25, Bossart will show how Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, Florida manatees, California sea otters, and other marine mammals that share coastal environments with humans are becoming valuable sentinel species that provide important information on how global climate change is affecting public health and the health of ecosystems. He will describe how studies of marine mammals are helping us to better understand and potentially manage the negative health impacts on humans and other species living in or near the oceans.

Throughout his more than three decades as a veterinary clinician and researcher, Bossart has focused primarily on disease pathology in wild animals. His recent published research had documented resurgent and emerging diseases in manatees, whales, dolphins, and birds. He helped to characterize the first viral disease in manatees and was responsible for developing the first immunohistochemical technique for diagnosing red-tide poisoning in marine mammals and birds.

He also is a clinical veterinary and pathology consultant at facilities in the United States, Latin America, and Asia; a Voluntary Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Penn State Lectures on the Frontiers of Science is an annual free public minicourse organized and supported by the Penn State Eberly College of Science as an enjoyable and enlightening learning opportunity for eager learners in the Central Pennsylvania area and beyond. After presentation, the lectures are closed captioned and then archived online for viewing worldwide. More information and links to archived videos of previous lectures are online at

For access assistance, contact the Eberly College of Science Office of Communications by phone at 814-863-4682 or by e-mail at