Dr. Roman Zajac

"Climate Change and Our Coastal Marshes - Changes, Losses and Challenges"
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Marvin K. Peterson Library, Upper Level

 
Synopsis
 

This talk will address the wide array of changes that are occurring in salt marsh ecosystems as a result of increased sea level rise and other climate related phenomena. At one extreme is marsh drowning and loss, and marsh transgression into terrestrial habitats at the other.

In between, changes in marsh geomorphology and hydrology are affecting flora and fauna in a multitude of ways, including significant alterations in the variety and characteristics of habitats found in marsh systems, shifts in species abundances and distributions both within marshes and across geographic regions, and changes in ecosystem function. Given the increasingly dynamic nature of the ecology of these important natural resources, the prospects for their future sustainability are unclear.

The implications for coastal management point to potentially increasingly complex social, economic and regulatory scenarios that will need to be navigated for effective maintenance of their ecosystem services. A significant portion of this research has involved the participation of undergraduate students (in part through the SURF program) and graduate students in the MS Environmental Science Program.

 
Biographical Information
 

Roman Zajac, Professor, Dept of Biology and Environmental Science, University of New Haven, Coordinator, Graduate Program in Environmental Science

Roman Zajac’s main areas of research are the landscape ecology of seafloor communities, and more recently changes in salt marsh landscape structure and faunal responses to such changes. Part of the salt marsh research involves assessing the usefulness of various imaging technologies to address questions of salt marsh change and faunal responses, including low level aerial imagery (obtained using kites, balloons and drones) and day and night videography. This talk will address the wide array of changes that are occurring in salt marsh ecosystems as a result of increased sea level rise and other climate related changes, how flora and fauna are responding to such alterations, and the prospects for the future of these important natural resources and the implications for coastal management. A significant portion of this research has involved the participation of undergraduate students (in part through the SURF program) and graduate students in the MS Environmental Science Program.

Professor Zajac, a UNH Research Scholar, has an extensive set of publications in marine and coastal ecology and biology, and has participated in many invited national and international workshops / symposia sponsored, for example, by NATO, The Hines Foundation, NSF, EPA, NOAA, The University of Sydney and the American / Portuguese LUSO Foundation. While most of his research is in the New England region, he has also conducted studies in England, Australia, Bermuda and New Zealand.

 

Dr. Roman Zajac's UNH web page

 
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