Marine paleobiologist Fred Hotchkiss will discuss horseshoe crabs at the Chilmark Public Library on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

A Martha’s Vineyard resident, the horseshoe crab plays an important role in our coastal ecosystem. The eggs of the horseshoe crab are a vital food source to migrating shorebirds. The adults are essential in biomedical applications and to the bait fishery. Sustaining the horseshoe crab for man and nature is a recognized priority from the Gulf of Mexico to the Gulf of Maine.

A resident of Vineyard Haven, Mr. Hotchkiss is the director of the Marine and Paleobiological Research Institute, which was founded in 2004 with a mission of preservation of our world fossil heritage through education, research and public outreach.

He has a degree in earth sciences Massachusetts Institute of Technology and did graduate study in evolutionary biology and paleontology at Yale University. The free lecture is sponsored by the Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund and was funded by the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council. For details, call 508-645-3360.