Science

Ecological dynamics of corals at their high-latitude range limits

Date: 

Friday, 19 August, 2016 - 15:00

Where: 

Mathews D, UNSW Kensington

Hosts: 

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Type of event: 

Seminar

Audience / Guests: 

Public / All
In eastern Australia, diverse coral assemblages extend along a natural stress gradient from the tropics to their pole-ward range limits in temperate regions. Our ability to predict how corals in these marginal environments will respond to climate change relies on better understanding the mechanisms that shape and maintain their biodiversity patterns. In this seminar, Dr. Sommer presents the results of a broad latitudinal field study she conducted in the subtropical-to-temperate transition zone in eastern Australia. She outlines biogeographic patterns of corals in southeast Queensland and New South Wales and how these high-latitude reefs differ from their tropical counterparts. She presents how she used trait-based, phylogenetic community ecology and species distribution modelling approaches to reveal how these marginal reefs function and how they may be altered by climate change.

Biography: 

Dr. Brigitte Sommer is a Research Fellow in Prof. John Pandolfi’s Lab, in the School of Biological Sciences at The University of Queensland. Her research combines field ecology and statistical modelling to understand the ecology of marine species living at biogeographic transition zones and how they will be affected by climate change.