Every species has one common ancestor, while having varying resilience types and levels in dealing with changes. This was tackled by Cecilia Conaco, PhD, at her lecture Stress and Sensitivity: What “Simple” Animals Can Teach Us About Coping With Change on Feb. 19 at the UP Diliman Marine Science Institute (MSI) Audiovisual Room.

Conaco. Photo by Daphne H. De Ramos, UPDIO Intern

Conaco is a professor and molecular biologist at the MSI.

She discussed the biological components and comparisons between organisms and pointed out that, “some animals are more susceptible to stress.”

Conaco also shared what she called “life lessons” that she obtained while studying sponges and corals. She advised that people must “Let go of extra baggage;” “Focus on what’s important;” “Walk your own path;” “Keep your friends close;” and remember that “Opportunity favors those who are ready.”

A graph of different sponges’ responses to stress. Photo by Daphne H. De Ramos, UPDIO Intern

The lecture ended with an open forum. The event was also held via Zoom and Facebook livestream.

The Conaco lecture was part of the MSI@50 Lecture Series. According to the MSI Facebook page accessed on Feb. 20, “The MSI@50 Lecture Series is an official UNESCO Ocean Decade activity that features the various topics and disciplines in marine science our faculty members specialize in. As one of the institute’s major events leading up to our 50th anniversary, the hybrid lecture series webinars celebrate the many ways the MSI has gone beyond borders to forward marine science for the people.”