26 October 2016
Congratulations to The Marine Palaeoecology Lab’s very own Dr Eugenia Sampayo (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) who was recently honoured with a Women in Research Citation Award.
The awards are based on an analysis of published work over the last decade, and recognise the highly cited contributions of early- to mid-career female researchers. This award also puts front and centre the important issue of gender equality in research.
Eugenia’s research focuses on the ecology, evolution and functional significance of the single celled dinoflagellates (Symbiodinium) that live inside the tissues of reef building corals. The symbiotic relationship between corals and Symbiodinium lies at the basis of the success of tropical reef systems and the symbionts are pivotal to coral health. Her main research interest is the response of coral symbioses to climate change and her early work showed that the specific species of coral symbionts living inside the coral determine how sensitive corals are to thermal stress, leading to coral bleaching and post-bleaching mortality. Her recent work investigates the connections between tropical and high latitude coral communities to find out how the symbionts set limits to coral distribution ranges. This work is important because there is a potential for migration of tropical coral species to occur towards higher latitude subtropical areas in response to increasing ocean temperatures.
See UQ news for more details.
21 July 2016
Marine Palaeoecology lab members presented research recently at the Centre of Marine Science TalkFest at the University of Queensland. Presentations came from Dr Eugenia Sampayo and Dr K-le Gomez-Cabrera, while Carrie Sims presented a poster during the lunch break.
To attend the next TalkFest or read up on research being conducted at the Centre of Marine Science please click on the following link: www.marine.uq.edu.au/
26-30 June 2016
Marine Palaeolecology Lab PhD student, Chelsea Korpanty, recently attended the Australian Earth Sciences Convention (AESC) in Adelaide to present preliminary research entitled: An ecological assessment of a Late Miocene coral assemblage near Rowley Shoals, Roebuck Basin, Western Australia. This research stems from an International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) expedition that Chelsea participated in 2015 aboard the JOIDES Resolution along the Northwest Shelf of Australia (Expedition 356: Indonesian Throughflow). Her presentation at AESC was given in a topical session specific to the results of recent and upcoming IODP expeditions in the Australian-New Zealand region. Of the seventeen oral presentations in this session, most were given by Australian- and New Zealand-based IODP researchers, two by PhD students, and several by international IODP researchers from Europe and the United States. The session overall was very engaging and informative, generating many questions and facilitating discussions between presenters and the audience. About 550 delegates attended the AESC, which is the biennial convention of the Geological Society of Australia.
Click on the following links for more information on Expedition 356: Indonesian Throughflow or the Geological Society of Australia
Members, current and past, of the Marine Palaeoecology Lab were a formidable presence at the ISRS 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii this June giving talks or presenting posters on their current and continuing research. They joined over 2500 coral reef scientists, policy makers and managers from around 97 different nations presenting the latest research findings, case histories and management activities, and to discuss the application of scientific knowledge to achieving coral reef sustainability.
The Symposium’s main theme was Bridging Science to Policy and the lab’s Professor John Pandolfi delved into the issue of improving scientific input into coral reef management and policy. With his main points being the need to: 1) prioritise research questions, ensuring that we are asking the right questions, and not ignore important ones; 2) get the message right by incorporating nuance into public and policy debates; 3) expand temporal perspectives to avoid misguided policies subject to shifted ecological baselines; 4) embrace and report uncertainty; 5) provide insight on potential biases; and 6) acknowledge the simultaneous effects of multiple stressors and the geographical variation in response to stressors.
The lab’s own Kerrie Fraser (PhD candidate) also works in marine policy and presented her findings for putting marine policy into practice for the Great Barrier Reef. Specifically, analysing how the management of Australian marine protected areas (MPAs) is undertaken when applying a vast range of policy, agreements and legislation, and how the policy implementation process is actually achieved.
While such a large gathering can become confounding at times, it also provides an opportunity to meet up with old faces, develop new collaborations and immerse yourself in the global research being carried out on coral reefs. We all walk away knowing that coral reefs today are subjected to numerous local and global impacts, but with increased efforts and cross-collaborations, as well as data sharing and impartial representation of our work we can hope to have a greater influence on the conservation of these valuable systems that drive us to do what we do each and every day.
For further information on the Symposium and to review the abstracts of other lab members please see the ICRS Website.
13 June 2016
A recent article in The Guardian by Professor John Pandolfi.
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the state of the Great Barrier Reef and the major threat it faces. Sometimes it feels overwhelming – reefs are dying and it seems nothing can be done. Actually there is much that can be done, from the Australian government really putting our money where its mouth is, to understanding that science must be at the basis of all action. Here I outline five things that need to be done right now to save the Great Barrier Reef.
Link to the full article by Professor John Pandolfi
30 May 2016
Professor John Pandolfi from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies explains the latest report on bleaching, which has found 50 per-cent of the northern parts of the Great Barrier Reef are dying.
10 May 2016
Jeremy Jackson from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute provides an opinion on the recent paper in Science Advances that Professor John Pandolfi and other lab members co-authored:
Acroporids have been the dominant reef-building corals over the past few million years. Unfortunately, they are also the most vulnerable species to human impacts. Renema et al. show that acroporids originated more than 50 million years ago but did not dominate reef communities until the intensification of fluctuations in sea level associated with the ice ages. This geologically recent success is attributable to their exceptionally rapid growth and their ability to spread across reefs by clonal fragmentation. These very features, however, have also made them vulnerable to heat stress and disease, as exemplified by the tragic mass bleaching and mortality of corals along the Australian Great Barrier Reef.
Original paper: W. Renema, J. M. Pandolfi, W. Kiessling, F. R. Bosellini, J. S. Klaus, C. Korpanty, B. R. Rosen, N. Santodomingo, C. C. Wallace, J. M. Webster, K. G. Johnson. 2016. Are coral reefs victims of their own past success? Sci. Adv. 2, e1500850. PDF
Link to online opinion.
15 April 2016
John Pandolfi is a Professor in Palaeoecology and Marine Studies at the University of Queensland. His comments below refer to the current bleaching event in the Solitary Islands.
31 March 2016
New coal export projects are being pushed through in Australia as the Great Barrier Reef suffers its worst ever bleaching.
Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is experiencing its worst coral bleaching in recorded history. The vivid kaleidoscopic colours that have mesmerized divers for generations – the purples, blues, indigos, lime greens, tan oranges and yellows – have been turning a depressing dull grey and white.
“It’s saddening but we had come to expect this”, Professor John Pandolfi of the University of Queensland told me via skype from his Brisbane home.
For rest of the interview please follow following links:
Online version: http://fm4.orf.at/stories/1768938/
On-air version http://fm4.orf.at/player/20160331/RC
31 March 2015
We are proud to announce that Dr Ian Butler, who has recently finished his PhD in the Marine Palaeoecology Lab, has received 2015 Virginia Chadwick Award for his publication:
Butler, IR, Sommer, B, Zann, M, Zhao, JX and Pandolfi, JM (2015). The cumulative impacts of repeated heavy rainfall, flooding and altered water quality on the high-latitude coral reefs of Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 96(1-2): 356-367. PDF
The recognise, each year, five outstanding publications lead-authored by ARC Centre of Excellence graduate students. These awards were established by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies in honour of Virginia Chadwick following her death in 2009. The awards are in recognition of Dr Chadwick’s significant contribution to securing the future of coral reefs worldwide during her role as Chair of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and as a member of the Centre of Excellence’s Advisory Board.