Western Society of Naturalists

Biology graduate students attend regional conference


Walla Walla University biological sciences graduate students Sarah Anderson, JoMarie Alba, Jon Eilers, and Monica Culler attended the Western Society of Naturalists Conference last quarter in Tacoma, Washington. This annual conference is focused specifically on ecology, natural history, and marine biology. At the conference, students and other scientists are encouraged to share their research findings and to discuss ideas pertinent to the scientific community.

This year, Culler presented at the conference about the research she is working on in collaboration with Kirt Onthank, associate professor of biology. Culler, who graduated from WWU in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, has spent time with Onthank studying octopus physiology and its relation to ocean acidification. The findings she presented at the conference include their conclusions that when temperature and acidity is increased in the ocean, octopuses have increased metabolism and decreased ventilation efficiency. This is particularly interesting as the Earth’s warming climate is rapidly heating and acidifying the oceans.

To learn more about the WWU Department of Biological Sciences, visit wallawalla.edu/biology.

Posted Jan. 23, 2019

WWU biology students holding up their poster which displays what their Octopus research was about.
Pictured from left are Jon Eilers, JoMarie Alba, Monica Culler, and Sarah Anderson who attended the Western Society of Naturalists Conference in Tacoma, Washington.