Rebecca Helm:
Life Between Worlds: the Ecosystems of the Ocean's Surface

Life on the ocean's surface connects worlds. Floating life provides habitat for diverse species, from those living in the deep sea to animals that spend their adult life in land-locked streams. In this talk, we will explore the diversity of floating life at the ocean's surface, its connectivity to diverse eco-regions, and the role food webs, life history, and ocean currents may play in its persistence. Finally, we will explore human impacts on the surface ecosystem, and ways that we, as a society, may be able to mitigate them.

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Dr. Rebecca R. Helm is an assistant professor of Biology and the University of North Carolina Asheville, and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Helm studies the ecology and evolution of life in the open ocean, and this research ranges from the developmental biology of life cycles to the broad-scale distribution of species on the high seas. Recently, Dr. Helm began studying the impacts of high-seas development on marine life, and the role that policy plays in mitigating this impact.