News Ticker

Biology Professor Jennifer Mattei Presents Research at International Conference

Advocates for restoration of coastal habitats on behalf of horseshoe crabs

At the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress in Hawaii are, from left; Satoquo Seino, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyushu University, Japan; Joe Cheung, Ocean Park Conservation Foundation of Hong Kong; Mark Botton, professor of biology and co-director of the Environmental Science Program Department of Natural Sciences at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Fordham University; J. Vanitha, Nature Society of Singapore; and Jennifer Mattei, professor of biology at Sacred Heart University. The group presented “Conservation and Restoration of Estuarine, Beach and Mangrove Habitats: Horseshoe Crabs as a Flagship Species.”

Jennifer Matteibiology professor, presented her research on horseshoe crabs at the 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress this past fall in Hawaii.

More than 9,000 people from around the world attended the event, which is the largest conference on nature conservation. There were presentations, e-poster sessions and “knowledge cafés,” where participants shared work, conducted discussions and learned about research conservation efforts from around the world. Interactive technology was on display, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science on a Sphere.

Mattei and her colleagues from Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore presented work on coastal habitat restoration and the importance of estuaries to the survival of the American and Asian horseshoe crab species. She digitally shared much of her work, conducted here in Connecticut, using a paper-free (environmentally friendly) e-poster. The conference theme was the costs of global climate change with respect to loss of habitat and the species that are threatened with extinction because of human-caused pollution.

Mattei’s current research on horseshoe crabs involves the use of living shorelines to restore the coastal habitats on which they and other marine species depend for spawning. A pilot study recently was implemented locally at Stratford Point.

“The conference was incredibly exciting, as it was kicked off by President Obama’s announcement of the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which encompasses more than half a million square miles,” Mattei said when she returned. “Without marine-protected areas, our oceans will soon be depleted by overharvest. The citizens of Connecticut and New York should do more to protect Long Island Sound and help replenish important marine species that we depend on for our well-being.”

Mattei, who also attended a field trip at the conference with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel and lectures from primatologist Jane Goodall and biologist E.O. Wilson during the conference, said she brought back a good deal of information on world conservation to share with her students.