Nancy Knowlton: Corals and Coral Reefs

I. Coral Reefs: Past, Present, and Future
II. Biodiversity and Why it Matters

Part II: Biodiversity and Why it Matters

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Lecture Overview
Dr. Knowlton begins her talk by explaining what corals are and how they build reefs. Using many spectacular photographs, Knowlton illustrates the decline of most of the world’s coral reefs over the past 30-40 years. She describes the effects of direct destruction such as dynamite fishing, as well as the more indirect, but equally catastrophic, effects of invasive species, excessive nutrients due to terrestrial run off, and ocean warming. She ends on a more hopeful note, showing how stringent conservation efforts in some places have resulted in healthier, more resilient reefs.
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Speaker Bio
Nancy Knowlton received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. She was a professor at Yale University before moving to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and later joining the Scripps Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Currently, she is the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. More >>

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