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Trent University to Host Right Whale Symposium on February 22


Tuesday, February 6, 2007, Peterborough

Free Public Event Explores Role of DNA Analysis in Protecting World's Most Endangered Whale

Trent University will be hosting a symposium entitled "Plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale" on Thursday, February 22, 2007 at 6:15 p.m. in Peter Gzowski College, Room 114, on the Symons Campus.

Drs. Scott Kraus and Moira Brown from the New England Aquarium of Boston, MA will be presenting their compelling research and conservation activities on this highly endangered species. Dr. Kraus is vice-president of research at the Aquarium and has pioneered the research and conservation of the North Atlantic right whale. Dr. Brown is a recent recipient of the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare in recognition of her success to move shipping lanes in the Bay of Fundy. With only 350 animals remaining, the North Atlantic right whale is hovering on the brink of extinction, making it the most endangered whale in the world.

Trent University wildlife scientist Professor Brad White and graduate students Brenna McLeod, and Roxanne Bower and Research Scientist, Tim Frasier will also be on hand to discuss their extensive work analyzing the right whales' DNA in an effort to understand their low birth rate, a primary threat preventing their recovery.

"Right whales are reproducing at rate which is three times lower than its known potential," explains Prof. White. "The research conducted at Trent has been instrumental in helping scientists understand the relationship between individual reproductive success and survival, genetic profiles, and habitat use patterns."

A complete itinerary of the event is as follows:

6:15 p.m. Meet at Room 114 in Peter Gzowski College for a tour of Trent's new DNA genomics and robotics facility
7:30 p.m. Introduction by Prof Brad White followed by special presentations by Drs. Scott Kraus and Moira Brown in Room 114, Peter Gzowski College
9:00 p.m. Reception just outside Room 114 in Peter Gzowski College. Dr. Scott Kraus will be available to sign copies of his recently published book, entitled "The Urban Whale", co-authored by Rosalind Rolland.

This event is free and open to the community, however RSVP's are requested. To confirm attendance, guests are asked to RSVP by email to rightwhale@nrdpfc.ca.

Peter Gzowski College is located at 2510 Pioneer Road on the east bank of Trent University's Symons Campus, Trent University. For directions, please visit www.trentu.ca/howtofindus .


For further information, please contact:
Prof. Brad White, Trent University (705) 748-1011 ext. 7113