Description: This talk is about an odyssey of diatom discovery that started with a phone call and a seemingly simple request that grew into an international project involving many researchers on 3 continents. I will discuss epizoic diatoms on cetaceans, sea turtles, and manatees and some unique features of this specialized flora. I will also briefly discuss the phylogenetic relationships of these diatoms and interesting ultrastructure too!

Target Audience: Diatomists interested in taxonomy, phylogeny, and ecology, as well as fans of the megafauna that harbor these charismatic microflora.