Coffee Hour: The health of corals in our modern oceans

Friday, April 25, 2014 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
3:30 p.m. Refreshments are offered in the E. Willard Miller seminar room, 319 Walker Building 4:00 p.m. The lecture begins in the John J. Cahir Auditorium, 112 Walker Building

About the talk

Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth and provide essential services such as food, protection of coastlines from storms, medicinal compounds, recreational opportunities and building materials. People throughout the tropics depend on reefs for their subsistence. Yet, reefs are severely threatened by climate change.  I will give a general introduction to what corals are, where coral reefs are found and how they function. I will then present evidence on the effects of rising sea water temperatures on corals and consider the potential impact of an increasingly acidic ocean. I will close by discussing approaches to coral reef conservation.
Suggested reading
• Pandolfi, J. M., Connolly, S. R., Marshall, D. J., Cohen, A. L. (2011): Projecting Coral Reef Futures Under Global Warming and Ocean Acidification. Science 333: 418-422.
• Baums, I. B. (2008): A restoration genetics guide for coral reef conservation. Molecular Ecology 17: 2796-2811.

About the speaker

Iliana BaumsIliana Baums studies the molecular evolution and ecology of corals and their photosynthetic symbionts. Baums in 2004 received the Smith Prize, awarded for the most original piece of research at the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. Prior to joining Penn State in August 2006, Baums was an assistant researcher to Dr. Rob Toonen at the University of Hawaii since 2005. Prior to that, she was a postdoctoral researcher to Dr. Jack Fell at the University of Miami from 2004 to 2005. She earned her doctorate degree at the University of Miami in 2003 and her Diploma in marine biology from the University of Bremen in Germany in 2000.

Questions for the speaker? (Angela Rogers)