15 – 16 June 2017

Marine Palaeoecology lab members have recently returned from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies – Coral Reef Futures Symposium held at the Shine Dome in Canberra on the 15th and 16th June, 2017. The Symposium featured more than 30 presentations from leading international marine scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence, Exeter University, WorldFish, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, as well as a Public Forum hosted by none other than Dr Karl.

The coral reef futures title of the symposium invoked the findings of the recently released Nature paper by Hughes and colleagues that coral reefs can no longer return to their former glory due to the multitude of pressures they face, especially from global warming. Instead, important ecosystem processes and functions must be maintained to conserve healthy functioning reefs, and “the way forward is for research to inform and support reef governance and management to navigate the transition to new ecosystems that will maintain biodiversity, biological functions and support human well-being”.

Lab leader Professor John Pandolfi presented the findings of the sub-tropical bleaching surveys undertaken in April 2016 to assess bleaching extent and October 2016 to assess mortality and recovery. Comparing findings with those from the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) he showed the coral genera impacted by bleaching in the sub-tropics differed to those genera along the GBR. See Professor Pandolfi’s talk here.

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies holds a symposium annually.