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Field Site Seminar, Mark Hay: Translating the language of life: Something old and something new, NC to Fiji and French Polynesia.
September 8, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
I spent 17 happy years at IMS and UNC helped launch my scientific career. Local reefs were relatively simple, of modest diversity, and general patterns I detected in these low diversity systems could then be tested for their robustness by progressing to comparative studies in the more species rich Caribbean and then the much more diverse tropical Pacific. In this presentation, I’ll overview initial research in North Carolina that informed additional research in Belize, the Bahamas, and Australia, and then move on to newer and ongoing research on the critical biotic interactions structuring coral reefs in Fiji and French Polynesia. A central theme of much of this research is that most organisms on Earth lack both eyes and ears and so must decide whether to attack, escape from, or mate with the organism next to them based on chemical signal and cues. This chemical language of life provides a nuanced instruction manual to the major processes driving the ecology and evolution of biotic systems, but to understand it and use that understanding for effective conservation and restoration, we need to decipher this language that regulates interactions among consumers and prey, competitors, hosts and pathogens, mutualists and hosts, etc. We are using this newly deciphered chemical language to inform conservation and hopefully to increase the resilience of threatened coral reefs.
Zoom webinar ID:969 1093 3469
Host: Niels Lindquist