Shellfish Expert Presents Carroll Lecture

Friday, November 11, 2005

The 12th annual Robert L. Carroll Lecture will be presented at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, in the Turley Center Ballroom at Fairmont State.

The FSU College of Science and Technology has announced that Dr. Sandra E. Shumway, Adjunct Professor in Residence of the Department of Marine Sciences of the University of Connecticut, will present a talk titled "Molluscs in the New Millennium." A reception to honor Shumway will begin at noon in the Turley Center Ballroom.

Shumway will present a second talk, titled "Harmful Algal Blooms: Global Issues - Local Problems and Why Should You Care in West Virginia?," at 7:30 p.m. in the Falcon Center.

Admission to both events is free and open to the public.
The research of Sandra E. Shumway Ph.D., D.Sc., spans more than 25 years in shellfish biology and the physiological ecology of marine invertebrates. After post-doctoral studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and the Department of Ecology and Evolution at SUNY Stony Brook, Shumway spent 11 years as a research scientist with the State of Maine Department of Marine Resources and as an adjunct scientist at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.
Shumway pioneered the study of impacts of harmful algae on shellfish and introduced the use of flow cytometry as a means of determining particle selection in filter-feeding invertebrates. Her primary research focus has been on problems directly applicable to industry needs, e.g. distribution of toxins in individual shellfish tissues, detoxification rates and timing and extent of toxicity between bivalve species with the goal of establishing species-specific closures. Most recently, she has been working in collaboration with scientists from North Carolina State University to determine the potential impacts of Pfiesteria spp. on shellfish and public health. A new species of dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria shumwayae, discovered by Drs. JoAnn Burkholder and Howard Glasgow, was named in her honor.
Shumway is a strong advocate for the shellfishing industry and regularly attends working group sessions and meetings with fishermen as an invited advisor. In early 2000, she organized and co-chaired the National Shellfish Workshop, a forum sponsored by the Cooperative Research and Information Institute designed to develop a National Shellfish Plan. Shumway is very active in the National Shellfisheries Association and was the first and, thus far, only woman to serve as president in its 95 year history. She has published more than 120 papers and serves as editor for three journals, one of which she co-founded. She has received numerous honors and awards, and has been chosen as an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and an Honored Life Member of the National Shellfisheries Association.
An enthusiastic and dedicated mentor, Shumway has several times been elected by the senior class as their faculty marshal and received the senior class recognition award. In recent years she has taken a keen interest and leadership role in making scientifically credible communication a reality by working with user communities, policy makers and the press.
Shumway's afternoon lecture will be a brief overview of past and current molluscan studies and will be augmented with personal observations and suggestions proffered for future initiatives.
Molluscs have, for centuries, been an integral part of art, scientific discovery and coastal development. From the earliest depictions of the Birth of Aphrodite from a scallop shell, to the most recent attempts to develop molecular markers for shellfish disease, molluscs have been a common thread throughout human history. They have fascinated collectors, served as currency and provided a source of food for many. They have been the basis for extraordinary art, natural history studies, scientific research programs, commercial and subsistence fisheries and aquaculture ventures and now international trade.
Technological advances in instrumentation, development of improved hatchery techniques, more efficient fishing gear, and the advent of computers have, in many respects, advanced knowledge and understanding of this large and diverse group of animals. Information and recommendations gleaned from these efforts, no matter how interesting or innovative, are only useful if utilized, Shumway says. She will pose the questions: What have we done with this knowledge, how efficiently has it been used and what are we missing as a result of all this technology? Or, in other words: What do we know, when did we know it and where do we go from here?
During Shumway's illustrated evening lecture, the phenomenon of harmful algal blooms and their impact on wildlife, the environment and seafood will be explored, myths debunked and questions answered. Harmful algal blooms -- red tides -- are a common occurrence globally and in some areas they are a regular event. In some cases, the algae produce a toxin that renders shellfish such as mussels and clams inedible; in others, the algae rob the waters of oxygen and have deleterious impacts on the local environments.
The annual lecture, sponsored by the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc., is in honor of Dr. Robert L. Carroll, a former member of the physics faculty. The lecture is an annual celebration of research at the cutting edge of a scientific discipline.
Dr. Robert L. Carroll died on April 13, 1997, in Charleston, S.C., at the age of 87. He received an A.B. degree in education from FSC in 1933, a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from West Virginia University in 1940 and a doctorate degree in mathematical physics from WVU in 1944.
Carroll served as professor of physics and head of the physics department at FSC from 1946 to 1956. His other positions included Associate Project Leader of Proximity Fuze Research with the National Bureau of Standards in Washington, D.C.; Chief Engineer and Dean of Academics at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Md.; and senior scientist and analyst with various government research and testing operations. From 1965 to 1977, he was head of the Department of Physics at Baptist College in Charleston, S.C. Carroll was honored with numerous awards including American Men of Science, Who's Who in American Education, Two Thousand Men of Achievement (1972) and the Ordnance Development Award for Naval Research.