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Hans W. Paerl discusses harmful effects of climate change on aquatic microbes at November 13 Vernberg Lecture

Hans W. Paerl will present the keynote address, “Mitigating harmful cyanobacterial blooms in a hotter, hydrologically more-extreme world,” for the 2019 Winona B. Vernberg Distinguished Lecture Series on Wednesday, November 13. The event, which will take place in the Presidential Dining Room at the University of South Carolina Alumni Center (900 Senate St, Columbia, S.C.), begins at 1:30 pm, and will be followed by refreshments. 

Hans W. Paerl is the Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences at the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences. He studies the nutrient production dynamics of aquatic microbes at the base of the estuarine and coastal food webs, focusing on environmental controls of algal production, community structure, and assessment of the causes and consequences of human-induced eutrophication of rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal oceans.

Dr. Paerl leads the Neuse River Estuary Modeling and Monitoring Program, ModMon, and the ferry-based water quality monitoring program, FerryMon, which employs environmental sensors and various microbial indicators to assess near real-time ecological condition and change of the Pamlico Sound System.

In 2003, Dr. Paerl was awarded the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Award by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography for his work in these fields and their application to interdisciplinary research, teaching and management of aquatic ecosystems. In 2011, he received the Odum Lifetime Achievement Award from the Estuarine and Coastal Research Federation for his work on the cause and consequences of eutrophication and harmful algal blooms in estuarine and coastal waters.

Dr. Paerl’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sea Grant, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense and numerous state-based organizations/agencies in North Carolina. He directs the Institute of Marine Sciences’ Microbial Ecology/Nutrient Cycling Laboratory and holds a joint appointment in the Departments of Marine Science and Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and Department of Biology/Ecology Curriculum.

Dr. Paerl earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a Doctor of Philosophy in Ecology-Limnology at the University of California, Davis.

The Vernberg Lecture, which is free and open to the public, is named for the late Winona Vernberg, a professor and scientist who conducted research to improve the environment. Dr. Vernberg also served as the second dean of the Arnold School, helping the school flourish and expand during her 18 years of leadership.

Since its inception in 2001, the Vernberg Lecture has become one of the Arnold School’s signature programs, bringing internationally recognized speakers to campus to discuss public health topics, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, strokes and aphasia, tobacco policy and air pollution.

Parking Information 

Parking in the adjoining parking garage on Park and Pendleton Streets is subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed by the USC Alumni Center. The garage is managed by the City of Columbia who charges hourly rates for parking. Entrances to the garage are located on Park and Pendleton Streets. After passing the entrance to the Hilton, please proceed on the second level and the entrance to Alumni Center will be at the side of the deck overlooking Lincoln Street. My Carolina's entrance from the Park Street garage is on the 2nd floor. Street level entrances are on Senate Street.

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