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Ocean Seminar with Elisa Boles & Alexy Khrizman

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Event Details:

"Coral reef hydrodynamics and community metabolism on a shallow fore reef in Palau"

Coral reef ecosystems represent the pinnacle of marine biodiversity and play important roles in global carbon cycling. Central to understanding these ecosystems is quantifying reef community production and calcification rates, which offer insights into organic and inorganic carbon dynamics, and provide information on reef functioning and health. This  study focuses on Tabkukau Reef, a shallow forereef in the Republic of Palau, Pacific Ocean, spanning from 2021 to 2023. Innovative methodologies, including eddy covariance and gradient flux methods, were employed to investigate the spatiotemporal variability of metabolic processes at different time scales. The approach couples biogeochemical and hydrodynamic measurements, extending the range of these methodologies to shallow reefs with significant wave action. Additionally, Structure from Motion Photogrammetry was utilized to assess long-term trends in reef health and create detailed 3D models for improved hydrodynamic characterization. Findings reveal consistent reef-wide trends alongside notable temporal fluctuations, underscoring the dynamic nature of these ecosystems. Understanding such variability is crucial for predicting coral reef responses to climate change and anthropogenic stressors.

* This seminar will be held in-person at Hopkins Marine Station, and live streamed to Main Campus, in the Green Building, Room 104