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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Flounder the Subject of Annual Summer Lecture in Oceanography at Newport’s Naval War College

Naval War College Foundation and URI Graduate School of Oceanography
Co-Sponsoring Event at War College's Spruance Auditorium.

Narragansett, RI -- July 24, 2001 -- Prepare to be amazed, entertained, and educated by the incredible changes flounder go through from egg to adult. The URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) and the Naval War College Foundation invite the public to discover Why Are Flounder Flat?: Unraveling the Mysteries of Metamorphosis, a multi-media presentation given by GSO biological oceanographer Dr. Jennifer Specker. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, August 7, at 8 p.m. in Spruance Auditorium at the Naval War College in Newport. Science exhibits will be on view in the auditorium lobby prior to the lecture.

Flounder look just like other fish when they hatch. After a month, they begin the metamorphosis to becoming the adult flatfish that we recognize in our local fish markets. Why and how they undergo this change in form is the focus of Dr. Jennifer Specker’s research at the GSO. Specker’s entertaining and colorful lecture will show how flounder live in the sea as a flatfish, spending their existence lying and swimming along the bottom on their side, wonderfully adapted to their unusual way of life. She will also comment on the flounders’ prospects for the aquaculture industry and how this commercially important species can continue to provide a living to New England fishermen.

A resident of Exeter, Specker received her B.A. from Miami University in Ohio and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Oregon State University. She is an internationally known scientist in the field of fish endocrinology, the study of hormone actions on reproduction and development. She is an editor of an international professional journal, has served on national and international research panels, and has been an advisor to the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. Locally, she coordinated the Rhode Island Working Group on Flounder Biology and Economics, created to enhance the biological aspects of flounder aquaculture, conduct market analyses and economic studies, coordinate planning with state government and private interests, and improve public understanding of aquaculture.

This summer series is co-sponsored by the Naval War College Foundation through the generosity of the Colonel John A. and Eileen F. Carr Fund and the URI Graduate School of Oceanography.

Due to limited seating, reservations are required. To order free tickets, call the URI Graduate School of Oceanography at (401) 874-6642.

Contact: Lisa Cugini, 874-6642,

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