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Climate Change and Public Health– Hofstra Symposium, Oct. 16

How climate change is altering the geographic range of many parasites and disease-causing organisms is the focus of a symposium at Hofstra University on Friday, October 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Parasites and Pathogens: Ecological and Medical Impacts of Global Climate Change examines how environmental changes are bringing dangerous organisms into contact with new species and human populations, stressing established ecosystems and creating new public health challenges.

Hofstra University’s STEM Collaboratorium (consisting of the Hofstra Cultural Center, the Departments of Biology and Geology, Environment and Sustainability and the National Center for Suburban Studies®) presents this event, which is bringing together epidemiologists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and public health experts to address areas of major concern.

Registration is free and open to the public. The day consists of two panel discussions and a luncheon. The panels take place at the Guthart Cultural Center Theater, located on the first floor of the Axinn Library, South Campus. The luncheon is located at the Middle and West Plaza Rooms at the Mack Student Center, North Campus.

The current schedule includes:

8:30 a.m. On-site registration opens


9 a.m. Welcome remarks and Panel I – Climate Change Impacts on Parasites and Pathogens of Aquatic Ecosystems


  • Andrew David, Biology Department, Clarkson University, “Projected range expansion of commercially important shellfish parasites in southern Africa” 9:15-9:45 a.m.
  • Nicole Fahrenfeld, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rutgers, “Controlling pathogens in wet weather flows” 9:45-10:15 a.m.
  • Aaren Freeman, Biology Department, Adelphi University, “Zombies and invaders: Does a marine parasite make its crab host vulnerable to another invasive crab?” 10:15-10:45 a.m.
  • Kelly Markowitz, Biology Department, Hofstra University, “The blue mussel parasite Proctoeces maculatusin New England: A northward expansion?” 10:45-11:15 a.m.


11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Luncheon and Keynote Speaker (advance registration required)


  • Nicholas H. Ogden, Senior Research Scientist, Public Health Agency of Canada, Climate change and vector-borne diseases”


2-4 p.m. Panel II – Climate Change Impacts on Diseases of Medical Importance


  • Howard Ginsberg, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, University of Rhode Island, “Climate change and transmission patterns of mosquito-borne pathogens” 2-3 p.m.
  • Bruce Hirsch, MD, Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine “When the world has a fever: Medical impacts of climate change” 3-4 p.m.

Parasites and Pathogens is directed by Hofstra faculty members Dr. J Bret Bennington, chairperson of the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability, and Dr. Jason Williams, professor of Biology.

Advance registration is recommended and necessary for admission to the luncheon. For more information contact the Hofstra Cultural Center at 516-463-5669.

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