News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, July 1, 2003
The 7th International Conference on Coelenterate Biology will be held in Lawrence on the University of Kansas campus from July 6-11. Coelenterates include corals, jellyfish, and other invertebrate animals, most of which live in sea water.
This is the first time that this international conference will take place in the United States. About 200 scientists are expected to attend.
Part of the conference consists of a meeting of the International Society for Reef Studies and will include presentations about the status of the earth's coral reefs. With the decline of reefs in many parts of the world, corals have been a topic of increasing interest in the world's scientific and environmental communities.
Researchers will present the most recent results of studies of reefs in Malaysia, the Red Sea, Taiwan, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the West Indies, Kenya, Fiji, Florida, South Africa, Indonesia, and other locations around the world. A number of the presentations focus on environmental stresses on coral reefs and the impact of global warming on corals.
The meeting also includes sessions on ecology, anatomy and physiology of the animals, deep sea biology, and field trips to the Konza Prairie and to collect fossil corals in eastern Kansas.
"About half of the attendees are from overseas, and most have never been to this part of the country," said Daphne Fautin, a KU biologist and one of the meeting organizers. "So in addition to the opportunity to catch up on the latest research on these animals, we are going to show off Kansas."
Conference sponsors include Museum of Natural History, Kansas Geological Survey, Division of Biological Sciences, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Department of Molecular Biosciences, and the Center for Research, Inc., all at KU. For more information about the meeting, see the conference web site (http://web.nhm.ku.edu/inverts/iccb/).