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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Chiara Pisapia

Chiara Pisapia


PhD candidate


James Cook University



PhD Candidate

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Building 32, Room 108
James Cook University

Phone: +61 7 4781 6063
Email: chiara.pisapia@my.jcu.edu.au

Chiara is originally from Rome, Italy where she completed both her Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree in Marine Science. She always dreamed about doing research on coral reefs and after working in Indonesia she moved to Townsville in 2009 to start a Master of Applied Science in Marine Biology. In 2012 Chiara started her PhD in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and AIMS@JCU, she is interested in understanding intraspecific variation in the ability of corals to withstand disturbances. Her PhD is entitled: Drivers of colony-level variation in condition and resilience for reef-building corals

Project Title:

Drivers of colony-level variation in conditions and resilience for reef-building corals

Project Description:

It is critical to better understand intra-specific variation in the ability of corals to withstand disturbances. Many studies have documented significant variation in the capacity of corals to withstand and recover from major disturbances, but the underlying basis of this variation is still poorly understood. This project will attempt to account for these differences in susceptibility, based on inherent and experimentally-induced variation in colony condition. Specifically the aim of this project is quantify background rates of partial mortality for coral populations at a hierarchy of spatial scales along the Great Barrier Reef.  2) To test influence of disturbance history versus other biological and environmental factors on colony condition. 3) To test both, the role of colony condition in determining capacity for tissue repair, and energetic consequences of tissue repair following experimentally induced partial mortality. 4) To explicitly test whether colony condition influence “resilience” (resistance and recovery) of corals to thermally-induced bleaching. Investigating drivers of colony-condition and their energetic consequences for colony resilience, provides a strong framework for predicting resistance, recovery capacity and resilience of reef-building corals.

Supervisors:

Principal supervisor: Morgan Pratchett

Supervisory committee: Dr Hugh Sweatman

Publications List:

Pratchett M.S., Pisapia C., Sheppard C. 2013. Background mortality rates for recovering populations of Acropora cytherea in the Chagos Archipelago, central Indian Ocean.  Marine Environmental Research 86: 2934.

Pisapia C., Cole A.J., Pratchett M.S. 2012. Changing feeding preferences of butterflyfishes following coral bleaching. ISBN 978-0-9808572-5-2. Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium In: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

Pisapia C., Hennige S.J., Haapkylä J., Matteucci R., Smith D.J. 2012. Morphological changes in polyp structure of massive coral species in clear and turbid waters. Bulletin of Marine Science 88(1):183–191.

Conference Presentations:

Pisapia C., Pratchett MS. Spatial variation in background mortality of dominant coral taxa along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.  Fifteen minute talk. Australian Coral Reef Society Conference. Sydney, August 2013.

Pisapia C., Pratchett  M.S. Changing feeding preferences of butterflyfishes following coral bleaching. Fifteen minute talk. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia (15 min talk)

Pisapia C., Pratchett MS. Changing feeding preferences of butterflyfishes following coral bleaching. Student Conference AIMS (Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville QLD) June 2012

Pisapia C, Pratchett MS. Feeding preferences in butterflyfishes with coral bleaching. School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University School Conference. 2011

 

Awards and Grants:

2013- ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Graduate Research Scheme (GRS).

2013- Student Travel Award to attend the 87th Annual Australian Coral Reef Society Conference (Sydney).

2012- AIMS@JCU project grant. Australian Institute for Marine Science, Townsville, QLD.

Seminars

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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