In collaboration with Oregon State University and the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO), Rogue Ales and Spirits, a craft brewery in Newport, Ore., has released the Wasted Sea Star Purple Ale. A percentage of the sales of this colorful ale, made from purple corn nectar and similar in hue to purple sea stars, will be used to support research done by OSU and PISCO scientists on the sea star wasting disease that has struck the Oregon coast.
One of the most devastating marine animal diseases on record, Sea Star Wasting Syndrome has been decimating the purple ochre sea star population across the Pacific Coast for the last two years. Bruce Menge, the Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology in the Department of Integrative Biology, is one of the lead scientists monitoring this unprecedented sea star disease outbreak.
The funds provided to PISCO will help students in Menge's lab continue their research on the loss of Pisaster Ochraeus, the most commonly affected species of sea star. Jenna Sullivan, a student in Menge's lab, came up with the idea of a "wasted sea star" brew to raise funds for Oregon State's research during a lunch at Rogue Brewery. She successfully pitched the idea to the brewery. Sullivan conducts field experiments and surveys to determine how sea stars loss affects lower predators and their prey, including mussels and barnacles. To read more about Sullivan’s research, check out deepseanews.com.