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The overall theme for the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium is Reefs for the Future. Just as contemporary reefs have been shaped by variations in reef-building capacity, conditions of today's reefs will influence the fate and health of tomorrow's reefs. Darwin (1842) wrote, "for we can understand the gradation [on coral reefs], only as a prolonged struggle against unfavourable conditions." (Darwin, C. (1842) The structure and distribution of Coral Reefs (page 82), pp 239) In this quote, Darwin was referring to processes structuring reef zonation, yet he described many processes as being either "unfavorable" or "favorable" to reef growth and function. Indeed, in 2005 "unfavorable conditions" are often thought to be common on many reefs worldwide. Scientists and reef managers are increasingly working together to develop management approaches based on science.

The goals of this Symposium are:

  • to provide a scientific basis for coral reef ecosystem management by articulating the state of the science with respect to current and emerging stressors;
  • to improve the understanding of reef condition, function, and productivity; and
  • to grow the field of coral reef ecosystem science and encourage multidisciplinary research by facilitating the exchange of ideas.







The 11th International Coral Reef Symposium science program will address contemporary scientific questions within the framework of a series of Mini-Symposia. The Mini-Symposia are envisaged as group efforts to address particular problems and issues on contemporary coral reefs that will assist management to sustain future reefs. Submissions for a Mini-Symposium should reasonably relate to the topic and related questions. Please be aware that Mini-Symposia are similar to the concurrent sessions of past ICRS. While the scientific questions framing each Mini-Symposium have been given much thought, they are meant to be inclusive and to provide thematic guidance for potential presenters. All who are interested should respond to the Call to be issued this summer.

11ICRS Scientific Program Committee
Rob van Woesik (Chair), Ph.D., Florida Institute of Technology, USA (Chair) "Email" <rvw barney fit fred edu>
Marlin Atkinson, Ph.D., University of Hawaii, USA "Email" <mja barney hawaii fred edu>
Andrew Baker, Ph.D., University of Miami, USA "Email" <abaker barney rsmas fred miami fred edu>
Julia Cole, Ph.D., University of Arizona, USA "Email" <jcole barney geo fred arizona fred edu>
Ruth Kelty, Ph.D., NOAA, USA "Email" <ruth fred kelty barney noaa fred gov>
Peter Mumby, Ph.D., University of Exeter, United Kingdom "Email" <P fred J fred Mumby barney exeter fred ac fred uk>
Philip Munday, Ph.D., James Cook University, Australia "Email" <Philip fred Munday barney jcu fred edu fred au>
Tomas Tomascik, Ph.D., Parks Canada, Canada "Email" <tomas.tomascik barney pc fred gc fred ca>


  1. Lessons from the past
  2. Biotic response to ancient environmental change in Indo-Pacific coral reefs
  3. Calcification and coral reefs - past and future
  4. Coral reef organisms as recorders of local and global environmental change
  5. Len Muscatine memorial mini-symposium on the functional biology of corals and coral symbiosis: Molecular biology, cell biology and physiology
  6. Ecological and evolutionary genomics of coral reef organisms
  7. Diseases on coral reefs
  8. Coral microbial interactions
  9. Chemical ecology on coral reefs
  10. Ecological processes on today's reef ecosystems
  11. From molecules to moonbeams: How is reproductive timing regulated in coral reef organisms?
  12. Reef Resilience
  13. Evolution and conservation of coral reef ecosystems
  14. Reef connectivity
  15. Hydrodynamics of coral reef systems
  16. Ecosystem assessment of coral reefs - new technologies and approaches
  17. Emerging techniques in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis
  18. Reef status and trends
  19. Biogeochemical cycles in coral reef environments
  20. Modeling concepts and processes on coral reefs
  21. Social-ecological systems
  22. Coral Reef Associated Fisheries
  23. Reef management
  24. Reef restoration
  25. Climate change
  26. Biodiversity and diversification of reef organisms



Mini-Symposium 1: Lessons from the past
D. Hubbard, W. Ramirez (a); D. Hubbard, E.A. Shinn, W. Ramirez (b); D. Hubbard, L. Greer, C. Sherman (c), G. Stanley
"Email" <dennis fred hubbard barney oberlin fred edu>

a) What factors have led to the successes and failures of coral reef communities over the past 65 million years?

b) How have our models of Caribbean coral reef geology changed since 1977? A Tribute to Robert F. Dill

c) Is the past the key to the present and future? How can past patterns of coral reef change inform the discussion about recent reef decline?

MS 1 Oral presentations MS 1 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 2: Biotic response to ancient environmental change in Indo-Pacific coral reefs
J. Pandolfi, K. Johnson, W. Renema, M. Wilson, K. Bromfield, L. McMonagle
"Email" <j fred pandolfi barney uq fred edu fred au>

a) What were the major environmental changes associated with the Cenozoic geological evolution of the shallow-water Indo-Pacific region?

b) Is there evidence for past regional-scale taxonomic turnover events in the speciation or extinction history of the major reef organisms of the Indo-Pacific?

c) How did the development and ecology of Indo-Pacific reef communities respond to past environmental change?

d) What is the significance of past major environmental changes and their biotic responses for informing us about the response and recovery of living reef ecosystems to human impacts and global change?

MS 2 Oral presentations MS 2 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 3: Calcification and Coral Reefs - Past and Future
C. Langdon, J. Kleypas, J. Horst
"Email" <clangdon barney rsmas fred miami fred edu>

a) How have calcification rates in reef-building organisms and on reefs changed over time?

b) What are the main environmental factors controlling calcification rates in corals and on coral reefs?

c) What are the various biocalcification mechanisms in organisms, and what does that mean in terms of the calcification response to changing environmental conditions?

d) What are our best predictions about future calcification rates on coral reefs at both the organism and reef scales, taking into account multiple variables that affect calcification?

e) Is there a connection between reef bleaching and sea water chemistry?

MS 3 Oral presentations MS 3 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 4: Coral reef organisms as recorders of local and global environmental change
M. McCulloch, P. Swart, B. Rosenheim
"Email" <Malcolm fred McCulloch barney anu fred edu fred au, pswart barney rsmas fred miami fred edu>

a) What coral recorders are accurate indicators of changes in water quality, and what have we learned from them?

b) Are there any suitable proxies that accurately record past bleaching or disease events?

c) How can the best climate information (particularly SST and salinity) be recovered from coral reconstructions?

d) How well can we resolve inter-annual and longer-term variations in tropical marine climate from coral reconstructions?

e) What have we learned about past climate variations from coral paleoclimate records?

MS 4 Oral presentations MS 4 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 5: Len Muscatine memorial mini-symposium on the functional biology of corals and coral symbiosis: Molecular biology, cell biology and physiology
S.K. Davy, V.M. Weis, A.A. Venn
"Email" <Simon fred davy barney vuw fred ac fred nz>

a) What is the cellular basis of host-symbiont recognition and specificity in corals?

b) What are the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying host-symbiont signaling and regulation in corals?

c) What are the molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms underlying key aspects of coral biology, including photo-acclimation and photo-protection, host-symbiont nutrition, and calcification?

d) How diverse are the molecular, cellular and physiological processes underlying coral/algal symbiosis?

MS 5 Oral presentations MS 5 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 6: Ecological and Evolutionary Genomics of Coral Reef Organisms
M. Medina, M. A. Coffroth, J. Schwarz
"Email" <mmendina barney ncmerced fred edu>

a) What is the role of genome science in coral reef ecology and evolution, examples from symbiosis, bleaching, disease, microbial communities and phylogenomics?

b) What genomic approaches are already available for coral reef science?

c) What are the challenges for integrating global climate data with genomic data?

d) Do genomic approaches hold promise for developing environmental monitoring?

MS 6 Oral presentations MS 6 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 7: Diseases on coral reefs
K. Kim, D. Harvell, C. Page
"Email" <kiho barney american fred edu>

a) What is the role of diseases in the evolutionary history of coral reef systems?

b) Which organisms and microbial communities cause coral diseases?

c) Which environmental factors influence diseases by altering host-pathogen interactions? Are disease outbreaks related to climate anomalies, particularly warming?

d) What are the major resistance mechanisms to coral disease?

MS 7 Oral presentations MS 7 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 8: Coral Microbial Interactions
K. Ritchie, A. Kushmaro, J. Ward, M. Teplitski
"Email" <ritchie barney mote fred org>

a) What is the role of coral-associated microbial communities in maintaining coral health? How do these communities change in response to environmental factors?

b) What mutualistic or symbiotic relationships exist between the coral/zooxanthellae and associated microorganisms? What benefit do these microbes provide?

c) Do microbes associated with corals interact with each other and the coral host? How do these interactions affect coral health?

d) Are there signals/nutritional cues secreted by the coral that promote/recruit colonization by certain microbial species? What is the functional architecture of microbes on the coral surface?

MS 8 Oral presentations MS 8 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 9: Chemical Ecology on Coral Reefs
V.J. Paul, K. Arthur, N. Lindquist, J. Pawlik
"Email" <paul barney si fred edu>

a) How have changes in reef communities been influenced by chemical defenses and other chemical interactions, and what role does chemical ecology play on disturbed reefs?

b) How do cyanobacteria and other harmful algae, through toxicity, chemical defenses, and biomagnification, affect reef organisms and communities?

c) Are secondary metabolites important in absorbing UV radiation and preventing bleaching?

d) What is the importance of chemical ecology in symbiosis and pathogenesis of reef organisms?

e) Can natural products and drug discovery promote reef conservation?

MS 9 Oral presentations MS 9 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 10: Ecological processes on today's reef ecosystems
D. Lirman, P. Fong, W. Cooper
"Email" <dlirman barney rsmas fred miami fred edu>

a) What life-history stage is most sensitive to organismal success? Or, does performance in one life stage alter performance and selection in subsequent life stages?

b) What role do the key processes, including herbivory, predation, competition and recruitment, play in the structuring, functioning and persistence of coral reef ecosystems?

c) When and where is larval supply or recruitment potential really important for population success?

d) How will key ecosystem processes change under alternative community states and disturbance scenarios in the future?

MS 10 Oral presentations MS 10 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 11: From molecules to moonbeams: How is reproductive timing regulated in coral reef organisms?
J.R. Guest, A. Baird, A. Heyward, K. Clifton
"Email" <james fred guest barney ncl fred ac fred uk>

a) Are there sufficient data to make valid comparisons about reproductive patterns among geographical regions?

b) Which environmental factors control reproductive timing in coral reef organisms?

c) How are environmental signals perceived and translated into action by the organisms?

d) Will changes in environmental cues associated with climate change affect reproductive success?

MS 11 Oral presentations MS 11 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 12: Reef resilience
C. Birkeland, B.E. Brown, A. Hagan
"Email" <charlesb barney hawaii fred edu>

a) What are the pathways by which previous experience with sub-lethal stress allows corals to acclimatize and become better prepared physiologically for additional stress?

b) Is selection strong enough that adaptation to local environmental stresses can occur under usual levels of connectivity?

c) How does the physical environment (e.g., climate/ocean interactions, local water motion, and shade) enhance the ability of corals to endure thermal stress in some localities more than others?

d) How is the capacity of coral communities to recover affected by initial community composition (e.g., branching, massive or mixed species) and by morphological characteristics of the reef (e.g., topographic complexity and solidified substrata)?

MS 12 Oral presentations MS 12 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 13: Evolution and conservation of coral reef ecosystems
S. Planes, C. Meyer, G. Bernardi
"Email" <planes barney univ-perp fred fr>

a) How can conservation efforts draw on studies of coral reef evolution?

b) What evolutionary processes are most critical to conserve?

c) How can the perceived gap between contemporary conservation efforts and long-term evolutionary processes be effectively bridged?

MS 13 Oral presentations MS 13 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 14: Reef connectivity
P. Barber, H. Galindo, B. Warner
"Email" <pbarber barney bu fred edu>

a) At what temporal and spatial scales are coral reefs biologically connected?

b) Given the unique responses of individual species, how do we combine connectivity data across taxa to form a better understanding of connectivity of reef communities?

c) Is connectivity among coral reefs merely a consequence of accurately estimating fluid dynamics, or does animal behavior influence connectivity?

d) Where are the mismatches between phylogeographic patterns and contemporary hydrodynamic corridors, and why do they occur?

MS 14 Oral presentations MS 14 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 15: Hydrodynamics of coral-reef systems
C. J. Hearn, C. D. Storlazzi, F.E. Pagán
"Email" <cjhearn barney usgs fred gov>

a) How well do numerical models represent hydrodynamic processes in coral reef systems?

b) How are new data adding to our understanding of hydrodynamic processes on coral reefs and how much do we know about the role of hydrodynamics in the biogeochemical dynamics, morphology and health of coral reefs?

c) Do we understand the physical boundary zones, and boundary layers, that exist in coral reef systems due to reef topography, tides, waves, wind and other environmental forcings? What is the importance of these physical zones to transport on reefs and the associated sediment dynamics and ecology?

d) What is the role of roughness in coral reef hydrodynamics and how well separated are spatial scales in their influence on hydrodynamics? What are the roles of small and large scale processes in controlling water flow, turbulence, diffusion, zonation and patchiness in reefs?

MS 15 Oral presentations MS 15 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 16: Ecosystem assessment and monitoring of coral reefs - new technologies and approaches
J. Hendee, D. Manzello
"Email" <jim fred hendee barney noaa fred gov>

a) What are the most critical biological and geochemical variables that should be included in real-time observing systems, and how much is system dependent?

b) What advances have been made in coral reef monitoring technology and methodology, and what new technologies are needed to assist in facilitating coral reef research?

c) How do coastal observing systems contribute to our understanding of processes affecting coral reefs?

d) What advances have been made in coral reef monitoring technology and methodology?

e) What real-time systems and mechanisms are being used, and which ones are required, to produce useful new (i.e., not coral bleaching) ecosystem forecasts (e.g., fish and invertebrate spawning, larval drift, etc.) of relevance to MPA managers and researchers?

MS 16 Oral presentations MS 16 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 17: Emerging Techniques in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis
J. Goodman, S. Purkis, S. Phinn, and S. Kinimonth
"Email" <JGoodman barney rsmas fred miami fred edu>

a) What new ecological insight can be derived from remote sensing tools and geospatial analyses?

b) What types of benthic information can be derived from remote observations?

c) How is the next generation of remote sensing instruments expanding our ability to quantitatively monitor and assess coral reefs?

d) What trends in remote sensing and GIS are on the horizon?

MS 17 Oral presentations MS 17 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 18: Reef status and trends
D. Souter, L. Jones, C. Loper, C. Wilkinson
"Email" <wilkinson barney aims fred gov fred au>

a) What are the current status and trends of the world's coral reefs?

b) How does recovery from stress differ depending on the extent and severity of habitat damage and variations in depth and reef structure?

c) How have global coral reef monitoring programs contributed to coral reef research, conservation and management?

d) Can we improve coral reef ecological and socioeconomic monitoring to answer the big questions: how are reefs responding to global climate change?

MS 18 Oral presentations MS 18 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 19: Biogeochemical cycles in coral reef environments
B. Casareto, Y. Suzuki, L. Charpy
"Email" <casaretobe barney aol fred com>

a) What are the sources, sinks, regeneration and stoichiometry of nutrients in coral reef ecosystems?

b) What is the importance of diazotrophy in coral reef ecosystems? How much do benthic and planktonic communities contribute to N2 fixation in coral reef ecosystems?

c) What are the improvements for estimating new and excess production on coral reef ecosystems?

d) What are the origins, roles, and fluxes (i.e., import/export) of organic matter, DOM (dissolved organic matter) and POM (particulate organic matter) in coral reef environments?

e) How is the stability of coral reefs linked to the biogeochemical cycles? What processes and mechanisms link biogeochemical cycles to the health of coral reef ecosystem?

MS 19 Oral presentations MS 19 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 20: Modeling concepts and processes on coral reefs
D.R. Brumbaugh, C.V. Kappel, K. Broad
"Email" <dbrumbaugh barney amnh fred org>

a) What are the key biophysical and socioeconomic processes that can effectively predict trajectories of decline, stasis, or recovery of coral reefs?

b) How can biophysical and socio-economic processes be coupled to model the future of reefs?

c) What conceptual, qualitative, analytical, or numerical models are currently available to link improved coastal management with changes in coral reefs?

d) What are the trade-offs between simpler and more complex (e.g., data rich) models and algorithms for better understanding of key ecological processes and for applications to conservation planning.

MS 20 Oral presentations MS 20 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 21: Social-ecological systems
T. Hughes, M. Nystrom, J. Cinner, S. Foale
"Email" <terry fred hughes barney jcu fred edu fred au>

a) What are the sources of resilience in linked social-ecological systems?

b) How can resilience in linked social-ecological systems be bolstered or eroded?

c) What are the implications of the resilience concept for monitoring and managing coral reefs?

d) How can coastal societies deal with ecological surprise and uncertainty?

MS 21 Oral presentations MS 21 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 22: Coral reef associated fisheries
T.R. McClanahan, N.V.C. Polunin, N.A.J. Graham, M.A. MacNeil
"Email" <tmcclanahan barney wcs fred org>

a) How do reef fisheries manipulate reef ecosystems and what is the potential to manage coral reef ecology through selectivity choices and off-take rates?

b) Are fisheries-driven reef system change and degradation reversible and what are the mechanisms of recovery?

c) Which management options (e.g. time and space closures, effort and gear restrictions, and species and size restrictions) are most useful for ecosystem management and adoption by fishers?

d) What metrics might be used to assess effects of reef fisheries at the ecosystem level?

e) How can conventional stock assessment be useful in achieving coral reef ecosystem management?

f) What are the prospects for reef fisheries in the future? Where should capacity be developed and how can these systems be managed under uncertainty?

MS 22 Oral presentations MS 22 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 23: Reef management
M.E. Hatziolos, M. McField
"Email" <Mhatziolos barney worldbank fred org>

a) What management strategies work and don't work for coral reefs?

b) What can we learn from traditional management practices?

c) How can the anticipated impacts of climate change on coral reefs and the concept of resiliency be incorporated into strategic planning and reef management efforts?

d) At what spatial scales should we try to manage coral reefs?

e) How do we measure success in coral reef management and compare success from one region to another when the threats and stresses are very different?

f) What is ecosystem-based management in a coral reef setting?

MS 23 Oral presentations MS 23 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 24: Reef restoration
A. Edwards, B. Rinkevich, A. Moulding, R. Villanueva
"Email" <a fred j fred edwards barney ncl fred ac fred uk>

a) Does reef restoration really work in the long run?

b) What are the key ecological processes that influence coral survival and recruitment and what can restoration projects learn from studies of reef resilience?

c) Can the ability to restore reefs increase the tendency to impact reefs, believing they are repairable?

d) Can new findings from coral and symbiont genetics help develop new reef restoration programs?

e) What lessons can be learnt from real-world reef restoration projects?

MS 24 Oral presentations MS 24 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 25: Predicting reef futures in the context of climate change: Is 500 ppm CO2 and 2°C of warming the 'tipping point' for coral reefs?
O. Hoegh-Guldberg, A. Baker
"Email" <oveh barney uq fred edu fred au, abaker barney rsmas fred miami fred edu>

a) What changes in temperature, CO2 and other physical environmental factors relevant to coral reefs will occur over the next 100 years? Will some reef regions experience less rapid change than others?

b) How will climate change impact coral reef biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem function and stability?

c) What scope is there for adaptation and acclimatization of reef organisms, and what might be the potential mechanisms, rates and consequences of these changes? How will we recognize these changes if they occur? To what degree can adaptation or acclimatization accommodate the projected rates of change in sea temperature, ocean acidity and other enhanced greenhouse variables?

d) Will the biogeographic distribution of coral reefs shift in response to climate change? Might we expect community changes as a result of taxonomic differences in dispersal capability?

e) How will reefs respond to other factors that may be affected by climate change such as drying land-masses, changing land use, intensifying storms and rising sea level? Will interactions between these factors be an important aspect for reef science and management to consider?

f) What are the future trajectories for coral reefs given the latest projections of atmosphere and climate over this century (e.g. the Fourth Assessment report from the IPCC)? Are we fast approaching a "tipping point" for coral reefs?

g) What are the big questions facing reef management, and how can science help identify or prioritize sustainable management options for coral reefs in an era of rapid climate change?

MS 25 Oral presentations MS 25 Poster presentations

Mini-Symposium 26: Biodiversity and diversification of reef organisms
A. Kerr, G. Paulay, and M. Pichon
"Email" <uogmarinelab barney gmail fred com>

a) What do taxonomic surveys tell us about the extent and assembly of reef biodiversity?

b) What are the spatio-temporal components of diversification: how and why does speciation occur among reef organisms?

c) What are we learning about diversity and diversification in challenging groups, such as corals, with the expanding tool box of integrative taxonomy?

d) How does host specificity impact the diversity and diversification of symbiotic taxa?

MS 26 Oral presentations MS 26 Poster presentations

Super Chair Super Themes MS#/Title
Ove Hoegh-Guldberg Thermal stress, disease & climate change 25 Climate change
7 Disease
8 Coral Microbial Interatction
Steve Palumbi Genomics, connectivity, & conservation 5 Functional biology/ symbiosis
6 Genomics
11 Reproduction
13 Evolution/Conservation
14 Connectivity
15 Hydrodynamics
26 Biodiversity
Joan Kleypas Past, present, & future calcification 1 Lessons from the past
2 Biotic response to ancient environmental change in Indo-Pacific coral reefs
3 Calcification and coral reefs - past and future
4 Coral reef organisms as recorders of environmental change
Chuck Birkeland State and processes 9 Chemical ecology on coral reefs
10 Ecological processes on today's reef ecosystems
12 Resilence
16 Ecosystem assessment of coral reefs - new technologies and approaches
17 Emerging techniques in Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis
18 Reef status and trends
19 Biogeochemical cycles in coral reef environments
20 Modeling concepts and processes on coral reefs
Marea Hatziolos Reef management & society 21 Social-ecological systems
22 Coral Reef Associated Fisheries
23 Reef management
24 Reef restoration


All Plenary Sessions will be held in the Grand Ballroom, 3rd Floor of the Convention Center.

Malcolm McCulloch
The Australian National University, Australia
Lessons from the Past
Monday, July 7, 10:00AM

Professor Malcolm McCulloch grew-up in Western Australia where he received undergraduate training in the physical sciences. In 1980 he was awarded a PhD from the Division of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology and then returned to Australia to take-up a Research Fellowship at The Australian National University in the Research School of Earth Sciences.

At ANU he was responsible for establishing a new range of geochemical methods to better understand how the Earth's continental crust and mantle has grown and evolved. For the past decade his research interests have increasingly focussed on the modern part of the geologic record, using isotopic and trace element methods to determine how climate and anthropogenic processes have influenced both past and present environments, with particular emphasis on coral reefs.

Using geochemical proxies preserved in the long-lived (300 to 400 year old) coral skeletons from the Great Barrier Reef he has been able to show how European settlement and associated land-use practices has led to a five to ten fold increase in sediment and nutrient fluxes entering the reef relative to 'natural' levels. This has provided important quantitative evidence to support enhanced National-State protective measures. Using a similar geochemical isotope-based approach his group has also been able to show that the effects of rapidly increasing levels of anthropogenic CO2 are now becoming evident in living corals, reinforcing the concerns about the impact of ocean acidity on coral reef systems. He has also undertaken research on fossil coral reefs, in particular those from the Last Interglacial, where he has demonstrated the realities of an ~4 meter higher sea-levels associated with warmer sea surface temperatures, providing a benchmark for likely future increases. He an Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef studies and has received a number of awards including Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science (2004), the American Geophysical Union (2002) and most recently the Geochemical Society (2008).

Joan Kleypas
National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA
Helping Coral Reefs Through Climate Change Crisis: Mission Possible
Monday, July 7, 2:00PM

Joanie Kleypas is a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research who specializes on the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. She studied fish ecology toward a Master's degree at the University of South Carolina, and completed her PhD at James Cook University in Australia, working under Professor David Hopley (and alongside Rob van Woesik) on the ecology and geology of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

For the last 10 years, Joanie's work has focused on two main aspects of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration: global warming and ocean acidification. "Ocean acidification" refers to the progressive, global reduction in seawater pH that results from the ocean's increased uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Joanie was introduced to this concept by Dr. Bob Buddemeier, whose ability to synthesize information from geochemistry, hydrology, biology and paleontology allowed him to forecast the potentially far-reaching effects of this fundamental change on the ocean carbon cycle and biosphere. Building on, Bob's vision, Joanie takes a broadbrush approach to studying how climate change and ocean acidification will affect coral reefs. She works with marine chemists, coral physiologists, ecologists, and geologists to investigate how coral reef ecosystems, and indeed the reef structures themselves, will change over the course of this century. Her work aims to improve our ability to predict which reefs are least vulnerable to future warming and acidification, and thus improve the success of conservation strategies.

Roberto Iglesias-Prieto
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico
Photophysiology, Bleaching, and Adaption
Tuesday, July 8, 8:30AM

Roberto Iglesias-Prieto is the head of the Unidad Académica Puerto Morelos at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Chair of the Mesoamerican Center of Excellence of the GEF/World Bank Coral Reef Targeted Research program.

Born in Mexico City, he received a bachelor's degree in biology and a MSc. in biological oceanography at UNAM. Roberto moved to the University of California Santa Barbara, where he received a PhD in aquatic and population biology. After a year as a post-doctoral fellow at UCSB, Dr. Iglesias-Prieto moved in 1994 to the northern Mexican state of Baja California to take a position as a senior scientist at the Center for Scientific Research and Higher Studies of Ensenada.

Since 1996, Roberto is a research professor at UNAM's laboratory at Puerto Morelos in the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Roberto's main research interest is the photobiology of the symbiotic associations between zooxanthellae and reef-building corals. His work has been focused on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of symbiont specificity in corals, the effects of thermal and light stress on the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus of symbiotic dinoflagellates, and the role of coral skeletons as modulators of the intracellular light environment. In addition to his research interests in coral reefs, Roberto is currently serving as the head of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Council on Coral Reefs for the Mexican government.

Bob Cowen
Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, USA
Population Connectivity in Coral Reef Systems
Tuesday, July 8, 2:00PM

Robert K. Cowen is the Robert C. Maytag Professor of Ichthyology and Chair of Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. He also holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Biology at UM.

He earned his B.A. at UCSB, M.S. at the Moss Landing Marine Laboratories and Ph.D. in biological oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He has authored or co-authored over 90 publications on topics ranging from coastal fish ecology and early life history, to fishery oceanography, larval transport and population connectivity. His research has included both a field-intensive empirical and biophysical modeling approach to resolving the mechanisms and the population consequences of larval dispersal. Dr. Cowen is currently serving on the U.S. Ocean Research and Resource Advisory Panel (ORRAP), the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) External Advisory Committee, NOAA/NSF CAMEO Steering Committee, JOI Ocean Observatory Interim Steering Committee, and as CLIOTOP/GLOBEC Early Life History Working Group chair.

His other service activities have included ICCAT Technical Advisor, Marine Reserve Consensus Panel, hosting and participating in various workshops on the topic of marine population connectivity and management of Caribbean coral reefs. Dr. Cowen is also a member of the Connectivity Working Group of the GEF Coral Reef Targeted Research Program.

Drew Harvell
Cornell University, USA
Drivers of Coral Infectious Disease
Wednesday, July 9, 8:30AM

Drew Harvell is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. She is widely recognized for her work on marine diseases, chairing both the World Bank Targeted Research Program on Coral Disease and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis program on the Ecology of Marine Disease. The current focus of Dr. Harvell's laboratory group is on the ecology and evolution of coral resistance to disease. A subtheme of this work includes evaluating the impacts of a warming climate on coral reef ecosystems. Her analyses and papers have led to the now widespread acceptance that diseases in marine ecosystems are important, particularly in the very climate- sensitive coral reef ecosystems.

Projects in her lab involve a variety of approaches, including field studies, molecular techniques, chemical analyses and mathematical modeling. She has worked for many years on coral reefs in the Mexican Yucatan and Florida Keys and more recently in the Pacific. Her work has been featured in national and international media. Dr. Harvell received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1985. Following NATO and NSF postdoctoral fellowships in 1986, she joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1986. She has been a sabbatical fellow at National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and Vice President of the Society of American Naturalists, is a senior scientist at The Kohala Center and serves on the editorial board of Annual Reviews of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics.

Daniel Pauly
University of British Columbia, Canada
Coral Reef Fisheries: A Re-Assessment of Their Ecological and Socioeconomic Impacts
Wednesday, July 9, 2:00PM

Since 2003, Dr. Pauly has been the Director of Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He joined UBC as Professor of Fisheries in 1994, after many years at the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resource Management (ICLARM), then in Manila, Philippines. Dr. Pauly authored over 500 scientific articles, book chapters and shorter contributions, and authored or edited 30 books and reports These documents, mainly dedicated to the management of fisheries (including coral reef fisheries), and to ecosystem modeling (including coral reef ecosystems), present concepts, methods and software which are used throughout the world. This applies, notably, to the ecosystem modeling approach incorporated in the Ecopath software (see, to FishBase, the online encyclopedia of fishes (see, and the global mapping of fisheries trends (see, all of which are strong support systems for coral reef research.

Two books On the Sex of Fishes and the Gender of Scientist: a Collection of Essays in Fisheries Science (Chapman and Hall, 1994) and Méthodes pour l'évaluation des ressources halieutiques (CépadučsÉditions, 1997) summarize much previous work, as do his articles "Fishing Down Marine Food Webs" (Science, February 6, 1998), and "Toward Sustainability in World Fisheries" (Nature, August 8, 2002). Two other books (In a Perfect Ocean: fisheries and ecosystem in the North Atlantic. Island Press, 2003; and Darwin's Fishes: an encyclopedia of ichthyology, ecology and evolution. Cambridge University Press, 2004) document his current interests. Dr. Pauly, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academy of Science) since 2003, has received numerous awards for this work, notably the Award of Excellence of the American Fisheries Society (2004), the International Cosmos Prize from the Expo '90 Foundation of Japan (2005), and the Volvo Environmental Prize from the Volvo Foundation, Stockholm. Profiles of D. Pauly were published in Science, Nature and The New York Times, among others.

Darwin Medal Lecture
Professor Terry Hughes
Darwin Medal Lecture: Science, Policy and the Future of Coral Reefs
Friday, July 11, 8:30AM

Terry Hughes is the Director of the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University in Townsville. He grew up in Ireland, where he received his first degree in Zoology at Trinity College Dublin. He received his doctorate in 1984 from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, where his work on the ecology of Jamaican coral reefs was supervised by Jeremy Jackson. From 1984-1990, he was an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he began a second strand of research working with Joe Connell on the Great Barrier Reef.

In 1990, Terry moved from California to Australia, where his work was mainly focused on the Great Barrier Reef, and in the Central and Western Pacific. He was awarded a Personal Chair at James Cook University in 2000, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences in 2001 in recognition of "a career which has significantly advanced the world's store of scientific knowledge". In 2002 and 2007 he was awarded two 5-year ARC Federation Fellowships, enabling him to work fulltime on research and to establish, in 2005, the Centre for Coral Reef Studies. In 2008, the Centre's membership includes more than 140 PhD students from 24 countries. Terry was formerly an elected member of the ISRS Council, and has served on the editorial Board of Coral Reefs for 10 years as an Advisory, Topic, and Managing Editor. Terry has published over 80 influential scientific papers that have focused mainly on population biology, community ecology, climate change, evolution, biogeography, and reef management. He has led field studies in many countries, including Australia, French Polynesia, Indonesia, Jamaica, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Samoa.

NOAA Administrator Address
Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.)
Thursday, July 10 8:30 - 8:45AM

A native of Philadelphia, Pa., retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., is serving as the undersecretary of commerce for oceans and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in applied mathematics.

Lautenbacher oversees the day-today functions of NOAA, as well as laying out its strategic and operational future. The agency manages an annual budget of $4 billion. The agency includes, and is comprised of, the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Services; National Marine Fisheries Service; National Ocean Service; National Weather Service; Oceanic and Atmospheric Research; Marine and Aviation Operations; and the NOAA Corps, the nation's seventh uniformed service. He directed an extensive review and reorganization of the NOAA corporate structure to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. As the NOAA administrator, Lautenbacher spearheaded the first-ever Earth Observation Summit, which hosted ministeriallevel representation from several dozen of the world's nations in Washington July 2003. Through subsequent international summits and working groups, he worked to encourage world scientific and policy leaders to work toward a common goal of building a sustained Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) that would collect and disseminate data, information and models to stakeholders and decision makers for the benefit of all nations individually and the world community collectively. The effort culminated in an agreement for a 10-year implementation plan for GEOSS reached by the 55 member countries of the Group on Earth Observations at the Third Observation Summit held in Brussels February 2005.

In this International Year of the Reef, Lautenbacher is committed to coral reef research, and educating the public about the threats coral reefs face and what we can do to mitigate those threats. Before joining NOAA, Lautenbacher formed his own management consultant business, and worked principally for Technology, Strategies & Alliances Inc. He was president and CEO of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE). This not-for-profit organization has a membership of 76 institutions of higher learning and a mission to increase basic knowledge and public support across the spectrum of ocean sciences. Lautenbacher is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (Class of 1964), and has won accolades for his performance in a broad range of operational, command and staff positions both ashore and afloat. He retired after 40 years of service in the Navy. His military career was marked by skilled fiscal management and significant improvements in operations through performance- based evaluations of processes. Lautenbacher lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Susan who is a life-long high school and middle school science teacher.

ISRS Presidential Address: Science and Advocacy
Richard B. Aronson President, ISRS
Thursday, July 10, 8:45 - 9:30AM

The worldwide crisis on coral reefs has blurred the distinction between science and advocacy. Objective science is critical to understanding the relative impacts of numerous causal agents. Because policy recommendations will differ depending on which causes exert the greatest influence, scientists must be explicit about when they are acting as advocates rather than conveying scientific results.

Legitimate scientific debate is healthy and in no way diminishes the goal of creating cogent policy, whereas forced idealogical unification is the surest route to disaster. Although science must move forward unfettered by political expediency, the situation is dire enough to warrant continuing action in parallel with continuing research if we are to save coral reefs. The public message from scientists and advocates alike should be positive, suffused with hope, and cast in ethical as well as pragmatic terms.

Rich Aronson, President of the International Society for Reef Studies, grew up in New York City. He received his Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University in 1985. After completing a NATO postdoctoral fellowship in the UK and postdocs at the Smithsonian Institution and Rutgers University, Rich joined the faculty of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in 1994. He is Senior Marine Scientist at the Sea Lab andProfessor of Marine Sciences at the University of South Alabama. He also holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Rich's research combines ecological and geological approaches to test hypotheses about the historical significance of climate change and disease outbreaks on coral reefs. He served as Vice President of ISRS from 2003 to 2007. In 2009, Rich will move to the Florida Institute of Technology, where he will become Head of Biological Sciences.


NOAA Coral Program Forum: Translating Science into Management

10-11AM Friday, July 11, 2008

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is a leader in the effort to preserve reef ecosystems. In late 2007, the CRCP solicited an external review to assess the program's effectiveness in achieving its mandates and to provide recommendations for improving its impact and performance. In this forum, senior NOAA officials and members of the science, management and nongovernmental organization communities will hold a panel discussion focused on one of the largest challenges facing effective reef conservation: how to better integrate natural and social science with effective coral reef management. Improving the link between coral reef science and management is major element of the external review's recommendations and the CRCP's plans for the future, and is an issue that transcends the work of any one organization. This forum is an opportunity for the CRCP's current and potential future scientific and management partners, grantees, and stakeholders to interact with NOAA leadership on the direction of coral reef conservation in the United States.

Regional Workshop Special Session

"Regional Workshops on Scientific and Science Information Needs for Coral Reef Management
Facilitator: John W. McManus, Ph.D.

This will be an open, facilitated discussion among those attending. Given the rapid decline of the world's coral reefs, it is vital that decision-makers, stakeholders, and coral reef managers have ready access to the best relevant scientific information available, and that scientists work to provide the answers to questions critical to reef management. As the world's premier gathering of coral reef scientists, the ICRS is an ideal forum for identifying how scientific investigations and information systems can be best focused to facilitate better coral reef management. This session will present the results of two international pre-symposium workshops on these topics, held in the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific respectively. Following a brief presentation of the workshop findings, a facilitated discussion will provide opportunities for session participants to contribute to the identification of priority needs. The results will be made widely available via the Internet to reef scientists, funding agencies, and the public."

ITMEMS Special Session

"Developing Capacities of Coastal and Marine Managers"
Facilitators: Kristian Teleski, PhD & Richard Kenchington, Ph.D.

The goal of the International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management (ITMEMS) session is to develop the capacities of coastal and marine managers to implement programs and projects that support the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs and related ecosystems at the local, national, regional and global levels. Integral to this is good coral reef science and the translation of this science into practical actions and strategies for management. The 11th ICRS is an important opportunity to capture the current coral reef and tropical marine ecosystem thinking and science, and feed this into the next ITMEMS. Likewise ITMEMS is an opportunity for managers to make recommendations for input from the scientific community and identify needs that should be filled by science. 11th ICRS delegates are encouraged to consider how their work could contribute to effective coral reef management and how this can be achieved over short time scales for urgent issues (i.e. not constrained by normal publication timelines) and, over longer time scales, to build time series to understand change and management of coral reefs and human pressures that affect them.

SeaWeb/Compass Panel Discussion and Reception

Can This Relationship Be Saved? Why Journalists and Scientists Just Don't Communicate
Tuesday, July 8 6:15-7:30PM Floridian Ballroom D - 3rd Floor
Followed immediately by a reception in the Floridian Ballroom Lobby; 7:30 - 9:00PM.

This evening panel is sure to provide fireworks to end your day. Top scientists and premiere journalists will go head to head. Reporters need plain talk. Scientists need details. Reporters need overviews. Scientists need caveats. You get the idea. Audience participation will be unscripted and decidedly not peer reviewed as we investigate how to make this relationship work. This interactive debate will be co-moderated byJeff Burnside of NBC's WTVJ in Miami and Nancy Baron, COMPASS' Ocean Science Outreach Director. The discussion will be continued afterwards over light hors d'oeuvres and drinks. This will be the place to meet and mingle with journalists attending ICRS.