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Water in Our World Speaker Series
April 24, 2013 @ 5:30 pm
Can coral reefs be saved? Chemical ecology as a Rosetta stone for effective conservation.
Mark Hay, Professor and Harry and Linda Teasley Chair in Environmental Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology
Coral reefs are in dramatic global decline, with losses of 80-90% in the Caribbean and 50% along the Great Barrier Reef. There are legitimate concerns of whether local-scale management can slow or reverse this loss in the face of global-scale stresses. In this lecture, Professor Hay will use reefs in Fiji as examples of how local intervention can have large positive effects and how an understanding of the chemical signals and mechanisms involved in structuring biotic interactions on coral reefs can provide additional options for more effective stewardship of coastal marine resources.
Mark Hay is an experimental field ecologist who investigates the processes and mechanisms affecting the structure and function of marine communities, with most of his research focusing on consumer-prey interactions, and on the cascading effects of these interactions on the ecology and evolution of marine communities. His research has transformed and deepened our understanding of plant-herbivore interactions in the sea (the base upon which marine food webs are built), and he helped found the modern field of marine chemical ecology.