The decline of coral reefs worldwide is a pressing concern for scientists and managers. It is important to understand the complex ecological relationships of coral reefs in order to determine how this diverse ecosystem will respond to current and future threats. This course will introduce students to the ecology of coral reefs and associated ecosystems (i.e., seagrass and mangrove communities), the general biology of scleractinian corals, and the taxonomy of important coral reef organisms. Material will be presented from a global perspective, with a focus on South Florida and Caribbean coral reefs. Active classroom discussion will be encouraged during and following the presentation of material by the professor. A formal discussion period on selected papers will be conducted during each class. Attendance on a mandatory field trip is required.
identify the main contributors to coral research
analyze and critique literature from professional publications
understand fundamental ecological concepts as they apply to coral reefs
describe the biogeographical patterns of coral distribution, diversity, and abundance
describe patterns of coral zonation on reefs
understand the biology (symbiosis, reproduction, recruitment, etc.) of scleractinian corals
identify important coral species and common invertebrate, vertebrate, and algal taxa inhabiting coral reefs in South Florida
understand how coral reef, seagrass, and mangroves ecosystems are interconnected
explain the effects of natural and anthropogenic impacts to coral reef and coral communities
describe the scientific research and social science necessary for informed coral reef management decisions
The Mission of the Oceanographic Center is to carry out innovative, basic and applied research and to provide high-quality graduate and undergraduate education in a broad range of marine science and related disciplines.