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By Charlotte R Gigje, MMC Intern 2023-2024

The Marine Talk event titled "Unveiling Seahorse Enigmas," hosted by Xavier University-McKeough Marine Center, was held virtually on 25 April 2024, via Zoom. It explored the fascinating world of seahorses and their ecosystems. The speakers were Dr Rose Chinly Mae Ortega-Kindica, a faculty member at the University of the Philippines Cebu, and Dr Chinee Surita-Padasas Adalla, a faculty member at Cavite State University. Despite the physical distance, the event united participants from diverse backgrounds in a shared quest for knowledge.

The event featured two intriguing presentations: "Exploring the Dynamic Relationship: Host-Microbiota Interactions Unveiled" and "Comparative Metagenomics Reveals Antibiotic Resistance Genes and Mobile Genetic Elements in Hippocampus comes and It’s Surrounding Environment." The virtual format heightened audience engagement and accessibility to scientific insights. Dr Ortega-Kindica began with an engaging exploration of the symbiotic relationships between seahorses and their microbiota, combining visuals and expert analysis to showcase seahorse ecosystems. Following her, Dr Adalla presented her research on comparative metagenomics, providing additional valuable insights. The presentation showcases that the genetic material of Hippocampus has antibiotic resistance genes and elements that spreads in marine environments, noting in the importance of monitoring and reducing antibiotic pollution in the ocean.

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Dr Kindica in her presentation.

The two-hour virtual event unfolded seamlessly, with attendees actively participating through live chats, and Q&A sessions. The online platform facilitated meaningful exchanges and discussions, fostering a sense of community among participants who shared a common interest in marine research and conservation. Moreover, the success of the "Unveiling Seahorse Enigmas" virtual talk underscored the resilience and adaptability of scientific discourse in the face of evolving challenges. The event remained a beacon of knowledge and inspiration, uniting researchers, enthusiasts, and curious minds in a shared exploration of the wonders of the marine world. 

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Dr Padasas-Adalla starting in her presentation.