Marine Mammal Expert to Discuss Emerging Diseases in Dolphins—Sentinels
The Department of Pathology, in conjunction with the Miami Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), will host a special Grand Rounds by marine mammal expert and pathologist Gregory Bossart, V.M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Animal Health, Research, and Conservation and Chief Veterinary Officer at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, on Thursday, May 1, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Lois Pope LIFE Center, seventh-floor auditorium. Bossart will present “Marine Mammals as Sentinels for Ocean and Human Health.”
For the past ten years, Bossart, former associate professor of pathology at the Miller School, where he also completed his comparative pathology residency, has served as principal investigator for a study on the health of free-ranging dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most diverse estuaries in the country, which runs between Volusia and Palm Beach counties and through the coastal waters of Charleston, South Carolina. In recent years, high levels of anthropogenic pollutants associated with changes in immune function, hematologic and biochemical abnormalities have been found in these animals, further evidencing newly emerging infectious diseases and neoplasia.
In his lecture, Bossart will discuss the application of aquatic species as sentinels for the effects of global climate change, ecosystem and human health.
A Diplomate of the European College of Zoological Medicine, Bossart has spent the last 30 years working in marine mammal medicine and wildlife pathology nationally and internationally. He has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, and recently published research documenting resurging and emerging diseases in manatees, whales, dolphins and birds. Bossart’s work has helped characterize the first viral disease in manatees and was responsible for developing the first immunohistochemical technique for diagnosing brevetoxicosis (red tide poisoning) in marine mammals and birds.