Unlocking the Secrets of Marine Resilience: A Journey into the Ecophysiology and Reproductive Biology of Corals in a Changing World

Dr. Jaqueline Padilla-Gamiño, University of Washington
- | Leidy Room 10

Global climate change has ushered in profound transformations in marine ecosystems, impacting biodiversity and the livelihoods of communities dependent on them. While previous research has predominantly focused on the capacity of marine organisms to recover and acclimatize to stress, the sustainability of future ecosystems hinges not only on adult survival but also on the ability of organisms to engage in sexual reproduction under the influence of stressors. At the University of Washington, my research program delves into the ecophysiology and reproductive biology of marine organisms in the face of environmental change. A key focus is the development of innovative biomarkers that assess health, offering a valuable means to monitor and comprehend the intricate interplay between energy sources (diet), reproduction, and the surrounding environment.

This seminar will provide insights into the fascinating realm of coral resilience. Specifically, we will explore how corals navigate and rebound from thermal stress, such as bleaching events. Additionally, our investigation extends to the strategies employed by corals in environments with limited light, such as the mesophotic zone (60-150 m). By unraveling these mysteries, we aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that drive the persistence of marine ecosystems, offering crucial knowledge for conservation and management efforts in the face of ongoing climate challenges.