On Sunday, June 19, ichthyologist Allison Bronson led us on a guided tour of the NY Aquarium. Bronson taught us a lot about fish and coral reefs including how catfish smell, what causes coral bleaching, how to sex sharks, and the evolution cichlids in Lake Victoria. We also saw a nice diversity of fish from all over the world including green moray eel, cownose ray, sand tiger shark, clownfish and some other vertebrates including sea lions, black-footed penguins, river otters and a Pacific walrus.
Allison Bronson is a Ph.D. student at the Richard Gilder Graduate School of the American Museum of Natural History. As an undergraduate at Humboldt State University in California, she worked on numerous projects including describing new species of extinct fungi and plants, the evolution of smell in toxic newts and predation in marine snails. For her Ph.D., Bronson is studying the evolution of early sharks using fossils and CT scanning. She is also examining the evolution of smell in catfishes from the Congo River Basin.
To see more photos from this event taken by Maurice Chen, visit our gallery.
To learn more about Bronson and her research visit here or watch her in this great video, Six Extinctions in Six Minutes, which is part of the Shelf Life video series of the American Museum of Natural History.
As Bronson mentioned, the world's ocean biodiversity is at risk of extinction as humans continue to over-harvest fish and other animals for food. To learn how to eat seafood consciously, check out Sea Food Watch and their seafood recommendations app. Additional information on conserving the world's ocean biodiversity can be found here.