1

People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.

2

Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution

3

Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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Event

Phylogenomics of Antipatharia (black corals) and their role as reef ecosystem engineers

When

Friday 28th May 10AM (AEST)

location
https://jcu.zoom.us/j/86395223662 Password: 230276
Presenter
Erika Gress
Erika Gress

Abstract: This project aims to set some of the fundamentals necessary for the study of antipatharians (black corals) in the disciplines of ecology, phylogenomics, biology and conservation management. It will address specific topics in three main chapters: (i) Species delimitation: the aim is to provide a well-supported procedure to classify species within the family Antipathidae. This will set the basis for future diversity studies necessary to develop management initiatives. In addition, I will re-examine longstanding theories about geographic distribution of corals at shallow and mesophotic depths; (ii) Whole-genome sequencing: assembling the complete genome and de novo transcriptome of the antipatharian coral Antipathes grandis will support and facilitate the species delimitation work and will provide insights on the processes underpinning antipatharians’ unique biological aspects; (iii) The role of antipatharians as reef ecosystem engineers: this chapter aims to provide evidence of the important role antipatharians have on corals reefs using a holistic approach which incorporates quantification of fauna associated with antipatharians and estimation of the structural habitat (shelter volume) these corals provide. The field site of this chapter is the iconic SS Yongala, and the study outcomes will also serve as baseline information for the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) of this site.

Biography: After completing her bachelors degree in Mexico, Erika spend several years conducting marine research in the Caribbean, Madagascar and Indonesia in collaboration with different organisations and institutions. Erika’s focus on mesophotic reefs (30 – 150 depth) began when she joined expeditions with scientist from the University of Oxford, UK, where she did an Intership at the Ocean Research and Conservation Group, to which she is still associated. She completed a M.Sc. in Germany – Belgium – Madagascar that examined the potential symbiotic relationship between Symbiodiniaceae and Antipatharia (black corals) at shallow and mesophotic reefs. Erika has centered her research on antipatharian corals, and she is now conducting her PhD at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reefs Studies under the supervision of Tom Bridge, Peter Cowman, Lucy Woodall and Ira Cook.

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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au