Seminar Details

Ecophysiology and optics of corals




Dr. Daniel Wangpraseurt - Bioinspired Photonics Group, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Cambridge; and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA


Globally, coral reefs are increasingly under threat from both local and global-scale stressors including global warming, ocean acidification and pollution. Understanding the interaction between the physical and biological environment is fundamental for managing coral reefs in response to stress. In this talk, I will use an interdisciplinary approach that combines physics, bioengineering, marine biology and environmental sciences to provide new insights into core mechanistic processes that underlie coral reef functioning and health. I will explain how the optical properties of corals, such as the scattering properties of their photosynthetic tissues, the presence of fluorescent pigments and the structural properties of their calcium carbonate skeleton exert key roles in modulating coral bioenergetics, and how this translates to stress susceptibility. I will also discuss the development and application of novel technologies and analytical tools for studying coral ecophysiology such as non-invasive bio-imaging techniques for monitoring coral microhabitat dynamics and 3D bioprinting for mimicking functional and structural traits of the coral holobiont.

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