January 10, 2012

"Clipperton Atoll and the Mozambique Channel:
Exploration in Search of 'Pristine' Coral Reefs"

Nicole Crane
Faculty in the Biology Department
at Cabrillo College
Giacomo Bernardi
Professor UC Santa Cruz - Evolutionary Biology

January 10, 2012
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Our January cafe event will feature the research of Nicole Crane and Giacomo Bernadi.  Their research into the population genetics of fishes has taken them to some of the last pristine coral reef systems on the planet.  Their talk will include both an underwater photographic journey of their recent expeditions to two very remote and truly unique locations (Clipperton Atoll and the Mozambique Channel), and a look at data and trends on specific ecological indicators in these systems compared with others.  They also expect to discuss a range of key ecological questions such as:
  - What are the roles of specific fishes (ex. large predators) and what happens when they decline?
  - What makes a reef ‘pristine’?
  - Can reefs ‘recover’?
  - How is our thinking about coral reef health and management evolving in this time of unprecedented environmental change?

Nicole Crane is the Director of subtidal programs for the Oceanic Society (San Francisco) and a Faculty in the Biology Department at Cabrillo College, Aptos California. She did her graduate degrees in Marine Science (Moss Landing marine Labs) and Science Education Research (UC Santa Cruz).  Her research focus is primarily coral reef ecology, monitoring, reef health indicators and fish population dynamics in both tropical and temperate seas including the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific.

Giacomo Bernardi is a Professor at the University of California Santa Cruz in Evolutionary Biology.  His Post Doc was at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove CA. His research focus is on the molecular ecology and evolution of coral reef fishes. He does his research in California, the Sea of Cortez, French Polynesia, the Caribbean, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa and the Mozambique Channel. His research areas include speciation, population genetics, and ecology of coral reef fishes.