COSAM News Articles 2020 September Virtual ‘Science Supper’ addresses fish response to ocean temperature increase

Virtual ‘Science Supper’ addresses fish response to ocean temperature increase

Published: 09/29/2020

By: Carla Nelson

The Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) Office of Outreach will offer families the opportunity to have a casual science conversation over dinner this week. Science Supper, part of the Science Café series, will present a talk titled “How are marine fishes responding to temperature increase?” The talk will be hosted by Moisés Bernal, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, on Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.

“The presentation for Science Café will give a brief overview of the fascinating diversity of marine fishes, with special emphasis on those associated with coral reef environments,” explained Bernal. “We will also discuss how marine fishes will respond to projected temperature increase in upcoming decades.”

Bernal, who had a paper on the subject published in the scientific journal Science Advances earlier this year, said human activities are leading to large changes in the world’s oceans, and many ecosystems are seeing changes at an unprecedented rate.

“It is important to understand why these changes are happening, how they will influence marine species and what are the ways in which marine species will respond to the environmental fluctuations,” he said.

He added that one of the things that scientists have noticed is that species that live in environments that don’t see large thermal fluctuations naturally are more sensitive to temperature increase. Hence, it is estimated that tropical and polar species will be more affected, given that they are less exposed to seasonal changes of temperature.

The talk will also be offered in Spanish as “Como responderán los peces marinos al cambio climático?” Bernal explained that he is originally from Panama and English is his second language.

“Thus, this represents a great opportunity to share information on global change and marine fishes in both English and Spanish,” he said. “This is important, as scientific information is mostly published in English, and students and educators that are not bilingual may have limited access to scientific information if they are not bilingual. Giving the talk in Spanish and English also makes the talk accessible to folks outside of Auburn, and even outside of the U.S.”

The Science Supper talk is offered to the general public and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend regardless of their scientific background. To register, visit

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