Graduate students, postdocs, as well as other researchers were able to speak about their work to attendees of the University of Guam Conference on Island Sustainability Conference on April 14, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
The presentations were a part of the Guam Ecosystems Collaboratorium for Corals and Oceans, a breakout session presented by Guam NSF EPSCoR. The event was moderated by Sarah Lemer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of marine invertebrate genomics at the University of Guam.
Presenters included Guam NSF EPSCoR Graduate Research Assistants Colin Anthony, Therese Miller, Renee Crisostomo, and Joseph Proietti. They covered a range of topics such as using publicly available data to study global jellyfish distribution as well as evolutionary trends, the microbiome of the staghorn coral Acropora pulchra from West Hagåtña Bay, Phenotypic plasticity in Acropora aspera and its implications for coral restoration, and quantifying genotypic diversity in the coral Porites rus.
Marilyn Brandt, Ph.D., a research associate from the Center for Marine and Environmental Studies at the University of the Virgin Islands talked about Rescue to Reef, a program that links science-based coral restoration to privately-owned resorts within the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Other presenters at the breakout session included postdocs Hector Torrado and Gaurav Shimpi, who discussed their research regarding the relatedness and clonality of Acropora corals on Guam as well as mitochondria and soft corals.
Lastly, David Burdick, who manages Guam’s long-term reef monitoring program, talked about how the island’s coral reefs have changed over the last decade and how different parts of the reefs respond differently to stressors.