Seminar: What is really killing our coral reefs?

Oct 28 2019 03:00 PM - Oct 28 2019 04:00 PM

Impacts and risks of climate change to marine ecosystems and their services
  • Associate Professor, Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, UK

  • Light refreshments will be served.

Abstract: Most of us know about how climate change is affecting reefs on a global scale and how the corals bleach when exposed to increases in sea surface temperature. But is that the end of the story? Or are we missing something? In this talk, Dr. Sweet, Associate Professor from the University of Derby, UK, talks us through why diseases matter and why we need to understand them in more detail if we are to explain the demise of reefs in the 21st century. Prof. Sweet takes us through our current knowledge on the diseases impacting reefs and where gaps in our knowledge occur. He ends, with a glimmer of hope – a possible new tool to identify the health state of reefs at any given time.

Bio: Prof. Sweet is a British researcher who has worked on coral reefs for the last 12 years. His work has taken him all around the world, with field trips in the Maldives, Reunion, Venezuela, Columbia, Brazil, Fiji, Palau, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and now here in Saudi Arabia. As a result, he's seen reefs in most states imaginable, from near 100% cover to complete destruction. He's worked on describing a number of diseases in fish, urchins, sponge and of course, corals. Lately, his focus has been more on the microbiome in healthy corals and how the corals microbial associates can aid the host in adapting or acclimatising to the threats faced by climate change. He has also worked with the aquarium industry to bring advancements in coral husbandry to reef biologists with a focus on spawning in reef building corals.