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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

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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

Processes and patterns in larval settlement of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster cf. solaris)

When

Wednesday 26th May 1PM (AEST)

location
https://jcu.zoom.us/j/88361402088 Password: 738876
Presenter
Peter Doll
Peter Doll

Abstract: Population irruptions of the crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster cf. solaris, are a perennial threat to coral reefs and may be initiated by fluctuations in reproductive or settlement success. However, the processes dictating their early life-history, particularly larval settlement, remain poorly understood given limitations in sampling planktonic and settled larvae in the field. This project aims to improve the ecological underpinning for the management of A. cf. solaris populations by resolving important and persistent knowledge gaps surrounding their larval settlement stage. Using experimental and novel field sampling approaches, the proposed research will examine mechanisms of settlement induction, spatiotemporal settlement patterns and their ecological drivers, and the stock-recruitment dynamics of A. cf. solaris. Altogether, this work may identify key factors promoting population replenishment, and have important implications on recruitment limitation and fundamental bottlenecks of A. cf. solaris populations. Moreover, this research will likely improve our ability to predict, detect and manage population irruptions of this destructive starfish, and their concomitant effects on coral reef ecosystems.

Biography: Peter grew up in the Bavarian Alps and, after leaving the mountains behind in quest of unresolved coral reef research questions, completed his BSc Honours at JCU in 2018. As part of his honours research, Peter examined habitat specialisation and consequences of habitat loss for coral reef gobies in Papua New Guinea with Geoff Jones and Phil Munday. Working as a research assistant in the Pratchett Lab in 2019-20, he was working on a broad range of research topics including the biology and ecology of crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS). In 2020, Peter started his PhD candidature at the ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies, investigating larval settlement of CoTS under the supervision of Morgan Pratchett, Ciemon Caballes, Andrew Hoey, Jason Doyle and Sven Uthicke. Using innovative genetic analyses, Peter and collaborators at AIMS and JCU aim to develop an effective early warning system for future CoTS population irruptions to mitigate their detrimental impacts on coral reefs.

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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