An overview of KAUST’s Reef Ecology projects: movement ecology, larval dispersal, population genetics, and cataloguing biodiversity in the Red Sea
Michael L. Berumen firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia
Key words: Molecular taxonomy, Biogeography, Parentage analysis, Phylogeography, Acoustic tagging, Satellite tracking, Endemism, Marine Protected Areas, Saudi Arabia
The Red Sea is a surprisingly understudied area, although it is recognized as one of the Indo-Pacific’s key biodiversity hotspots with high levels of endemism in most taxa. I will present preliminary data from a broad-scale survey of reef organisms employing modern (molecular) taxonomic and phylogeographic approaches along 2000 km of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline. I will highlight how this collaborative project will provide a scientific foundation for establishing MPA networks and identify new species unique to the region, information currently unavailable in Saudi Arabia and much of the Red Sea in general. I will additionally address our lab’s work on movement ecology, which ranges from developing innovative techniques for empirically measuring larval dispersal to using modern technology to track movements of rays and sharks.
My presentation will include a brief overview of KAUST, the Red Sea Research Center, and general areas of research at the university. I will describe the requirements for admission and KAUST’s scholarship programs. I will be happy to discuss further any specific fields of study for interested students or postdocs.
Mike received his PhD from James Cook University in Australia in 2007, specializing in life history and ecology of butterflyfishes. Mike was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA), where he focused on larval connectivity in coral reef fishes. In 2009, Mike became the first marine science faculty member appointed by the founding director of the Red Sea Research Center at KAUST, in Saudi Arabia. He has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed articles and 3 book chapters, and he has co-edited one book, Biology of Butterflyfishes. His research focuses on advancing our understanding of Red Sea coral reefs and more broadly making contributions to movement ecology, which is a critical aspect of developing conservation plans in the marine environment. He is particularly interested in connectivity questions ranging from larval dispersal to large distance migrations of adult fishes.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) was established in 2009 and is an international graduate research university dedicated to advancing science and technology through interdisciplinary research, education, and innovation. Located on the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, KAUST seeks to advance scientific research and collaboration, transcending disciplines and boundaries for the benefit of science. Breakthrough research is conducted to address grand challenges of global significance, in the areas of water, food, energy, and the environment. For more information, visit www.kaust.edu.sa.
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