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Richard Wassersug, internationally recognized expert on frogs who has worked with the American, Canadian, Japanese, and Russian space agencies, will speak on “Frogs in Space: Or Do We Really Need Such an Expensive Space Station?” at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 23, in Kunkel Auditorium.

Sponsored by the Department of Biology, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Wassersug’s primary research interests are functional morphology, developmental biology, and behavior, leading to approximately 100 peer reviewed papers since 1963. Most of his research has been with amphibians, although he has also published on fishes, reptiles and mammals.

A professor in the department of anatomy and neurobiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Wassersug has been the principal investigator or co-investigator on space flight experiments that have flown on the MIR space station, a Biocosmos satellite, and the U.S. space shuttle, as well as on parabolic flights performed in Canada, the United States, and Japan. His involvement in space and gravitational biology research has led to his authoring or co-authoring publications in PNAS, Journal of Experimental Biology, Journal of Experimental Zoology, Scientific American, Space Policy, and Journal of Comparative Physiology, among others.

His space-related research has been supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, the Japan Science and Technology Fund, the Japan Space Forum, and the Astrofrog Association.

Wassersug was a member of NASA’s Gravitational Biology Facility Scientific Working Group from 1992-94 and a member of its Working Group on the Space Station Biological Research Project, 1994-95. He has been a member of the Space Life Sciences Advisory Panel of the Canadian Space Agency since 1989.

Wassersug was born in 1946 in Boston, Mass. He retains citizenship in both Canada and the United States. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in 1967 and his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1973. In 1994, he was a visiting professor at the Institute for Space and Astronautical Science in Japan.

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