Environment and Ecology graduate student, Colleen Bove, presented at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) in Honolulu, Hawai’i, as part of her research advisor’s lab group. The Coral Ecophysiology Lab led by Dr. Karl Castillo attended the largest coral reef conference in the world (ICRS) in June 2016, which included the PI, a post-doc, and several students. Everyone in the lab group presented their research. Colleen Bove presented her most recent research studying the effect of pH and warming on reef-building corals. Her talk was entitled “Effects of Ocean Warming and Acidification on the Calcification of Four Caribbean Reef-Building Corals” and the abstract link is https://www.sgmeet.com/icrs2016/viewabstract.asp?AbstractID=28700.
This conference is held only every four years and hosts nearly 2,500 other researchers, students, and educators, including coral reef experts from around the world. Students and other scientists enjoyed plenary talks by prominent individuals who can explain coral reef dynamics and the effects of climate change from a variety of perspectives. President Tommy Esang Remengesau, Jr., Republic of Palau, spoke about small island countries and his efforts to increase economic resilience through protection of biodiversity. The president of the International Society for Reef Studies, Dr. Ruth Gates, from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa spoke about specific actions for addressing climate change impacts to coral reefs. Hundreds of presentations and posters were given on topics ranging from inexpensive paper microscopes to coral bleaching on the entire continent of Australia.
The conference fostered many collaborations between different research labs and universities, and of course encouraged exploration of the local reefs and beaches! With free time before, during, and after the conference, we were able to go snorkeling or diving on the fantastic coral reefs, hike up volcanoes, learn about interesting research ideas, and catch up with science friends from other institutions.