Sandin Lab members reflect on the 2012 International Coral Reef SymposiumPosted by marlenebrito on Sep 4, 2012 in Featured • No comments
This year, the coral reef science community gathered for the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS). Held every four years, ICRS is the world’s largest and premier forum for the dissemination and discussion of coral reef science, management and conservation.
Click here to read the consensus statement of the conference, which urges governments to take action for the preservation of coral reefs for the benefit of present and future generations.
In July, several members of the Sandin Lab flew to Cairns, Australia to attend the 12th ICRS and present their research to thousands of other coral reef scientists. Here are their most memorable moments from this year’s conference:
Gareth Williams, PhD (postdoctoral researcher):
“My favorite talk at ICRS was actually by a PhD student, Ranjan Muthukrishnan (UCLA). Ranjan presented a spatially explicit simulation model of coral/algae competition for space. The nice thing about this work was that the model was largely based on findings from in situ experiments, and then tested for accuracy using empirical data collected from the same location. He showed that, in this system at least, positive feedback loops are extremely important and that these mechanisms alone drove rapid shifts between community states and generated hysteresis across a wide range of environmental conditions. Furthermore, he showed that conditions persisted over long timescales, indicating that positive feedback loops appear to be able to create alternative stable states. Pretty cool stuff. I’m hoping to bring Ranjan down to SIO to give a talk at some point.”
Click here to read more about Ranjan’s work as a graduate student at UCLA.
Brian Zgliczynski (5th-year PhD candidate):
“The overall experience of attending ICRS sticks out in my mind rather than a single talk. We spend so much time searching through the scientific literature and learning from colleagues. For me the ICRS experience was about listening to some of the best coral reef scientists in the world present their research, and in some cases getting a chance to meet with them face-to-face over a few beers. I look forward to developing these collaborative relationships that span ocean basins.”
Kate Furby (2nd-year PhD student):
“My research interest is coral reef community dynamics. One of the highlights of the conference for me was Vimoksalehi Lukoschek’s talk, ‘Greatly varying realized larval dispersal in broadcast spawning corals.’ She is examining coral connectivity and adaptation. Understanding how corals are adapted to their environment and what flexibility they have for change may provide critical answers to the uncertain future of coral reefs as climate change continues.”
Click here to learn more about Vimoksalehi’s work as a research fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in Australia.
Click here to see a cool video about corals.
For more information:
The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) is the main sanctioning organization for the International Coral Reef Symposium. ISRS seeks to promote and publicize understanding of coral reef ecosystems. This year, ICRS was hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and James Cook University. Visit http://www.icrs2012.com/ to read more about this year’s conference, watch videos of the talks, and check out the winners of the coral reef photography competition!