IBA in Catania

During the week of June 10-16, 2013 the International Bryozoology Association (IBA) met at the University of Catania, Italy.   Four MCZ affiliates are members of the IBA:  Prof. Robert M. Woollacott, OEB graduate student Kira Treibergs, Mary Sears of the Ernst Mayr Library, and Dr. Judith Winston, associate in marine biology at the MCZ.

Mary Sears gave an address on the life and work of Benjamin Grave (1878-1949), an American invertebrate embryologist who studied the bryozoans of Woods Hole, MA.    The scientific biography is a collaboration with OEB faculty member Robert M. Woollacott.  An expanded version of the talk will appear in a forthcoming volume of the Annals of Bryozoology.

Judith Winston spoke on bryozoologist Mary Dora Rogick (1906-1963) and also gave a presentation on bryozoan species from Southwest Brazil.    A highlight of the conference was Winston’s  dramatic video of living bryozoan colonies supported by single grains of sand.

Bryozoans, or “moss-animals”, are colonial organisms found in marine and freshwater environments.    There are approximately 6000 species of Bryozoa living today, and they appear in the fossil record as early as the Ordovician Period, about 470 million years ago