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


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

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


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

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From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Predicting evolutionary responses to climate change in the sea: progress and challenges


Thursday 16th of July 2015 – 16:00 to 17:00 hrs

Building 19 (Kevin Stark Research Building) Room #106 (upstairs), JCU, Townsville
Prof. Philip Munday
Prof. Philip Munday


Abstract: There is an increasing appreciation of the need to consider evolutionary responses when predicting the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, yet relatively few studies have tackled this critically important question. In part, this lack of research effort stems from a lack of understanding about how evolutionary responses can be tested and included in climate change models. In this talk I will explain why an evolutionary perspective is crucial to understanding climate change impacts in the sea. I will then discuss the different approaches that may be useful for addressing this challenge and examine progress that has been made to date. I will first examine evidence that phenotypic plasticity may assist marine species to persist in a rapidly changing climate. I will then outline the various experimental approaches that can be used to estimate evolutionary potential, focusing on quantitative genetics, experimental evolution, and molecular tools. I will describe the benefits of each approach and how they can be combined to gain a deeper understanding of evolutionary potential. I will use recent examples and summarize the current state-of-knowledge.


Bio: Professor Philip Munday is an ARC Future Fellow in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. He has broad interests in the biology and ecology of marine fishes. His research program focuses on predicting the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on coral reef fishes, and testing their capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. His research has been instrumental in showing that multi-generational history is critical for predicting the consequences of climate change for marine species.



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