On Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 4:45 – 6 p.m., Professor Carys Mitchelmore, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, will discuss aquatic toxicology and coral reefs. Her lecture, titled “Are Sunscreens Killing Our Coral Reefs?” takes place in Schaefer Hall, room 106 on the St. Mary’s College of Maryland campus. A Natural Science and Mathematics Colloquium presentation, the event is free of charge and open to the public.
There have been many media reports, public outcry and policy and management actions due to the recent reports that chemicals (organic UV filters) contained in sunscreens are impacting corals. This talk will outline the state of the science on the environmental concentrations of these sunscreen chemicals, UV filters, in seawaters surrounding coral reefs and discuss the toxicological findings in coral species exposed to these chemicals. Using these two data sets the environmental risk that these chemicals pose to coral reefs will be discussed, including discussions relating to management and policy implications for the protection of environmental and human health.