About the Class

The phenomena of symbiosis that encompasses parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism is widespread in the natural world around us both in the terrestrial and aquatic environment. In the intertidal zone of the eastern Pacific waters off of North America, an intertidal anemone called Anthopleura elegantissima (common names include pink-tipped anemone, clonal anemone, and aggregating anemone) plays host to two vastly different unicellular algae, a dinoflagellate and a chlorophyte, in a clear example of mutualism. Why have two different algal symbionts in this anemone host and what drives this mutualistic system? Both are excellent questions; consequently, this class explores the dynamic interactions between the host anemone and photosymbionts and how they play a role in the biology, ecology, and physiology of this anemone in the Pacific Northwest.


Alan completed his post-doctoral at Oregon State University, PhD at Florida Institute of Technology, and both MS and BS at Walla Walla University, Washington. As the Diving Safety Officer, Alan oversees all aspects of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences-sponsored scientific diving program at MMA. Arguably, Alan has the greatest job at MMA teaching marine courses and he thoroughly enjoys conducting scientific diving as a marine biologist...so not only does he get to talk about the biology, ecology, and physiology of some very interesting marine animals but he also gets to dive while observing and studying them throughout the world!

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