ANU environmental podcast
Australian National University are podcasting a series of lectures and seminars on the environment, and are covering some hard hitting topics, ranging from policy and economy to oceanography (several of which I might not entirely agree with) . Below are three of the best – see the full listing here.
The microdoc project: ‘short attention span science videos’
Steve Palumbi and colleagues at Stanford University have produced an exceptional collection of microdocs (2-3 minute documentaries on a single topic), focused around a central theme of “Sustainability on Coral Reefs”. To paraphrase Rick McPherson, microdocs ‘take on macro ocean issues’, and are a great way to get key messages on ecological sustainability and coral reefs across to the media, general public and schools. The Stanford microdocs website has a full listing of all microdocs, and below are some of the highlights:
As part of the International Year of the Reef, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies has uploaded a series of online seminars from the the ‘Coral Reef Futures’ symposium (held in Canberra late last year) as a way to convey the pressing issues surrounding reefs today to the general public. See the full news brief here, and check out the links to the videos below on a wide range of topics, from climate change and anthropogenic threats to sustainable management and the economy of reefs. There really are some great presentations in here from some of the worlds leading scientists on coral reefs – I strongly urge you to explore some of these seminars.
“In this episode of MicrobeWorld
Video marine scientists Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Ph.D.
, chair of marine studies at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and Kiho Kim, Ph.D.
, director of the environmental studies program at American University, explain the important relationship between microbes and corals, and how this delicate symbiosis that sustains life on and around reefs is facing numerous threats from human interactions to global climate change. In addition, Tundi Agardy, Ph.D., founder and executive director of Sound Seas, discusses the need for public policy and community-based conservation efforts that may help stave off the degradation of these vital ocean ecosystems.According to a 2004 report
issued by the World Wildlife Fund, 24% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures; and a further 26% are under a longer term threat of collapse. If nothing is done to protect these resources, many scientists estimate that reefs around the West Indies in the Caribbean will be gone by 2020, while the Great Barrier Reef may only last for another three decades.”
Recent research published in the journal Nature by Peter Mumby and co-authors at the University of Exter (United Kingdom) and University of California shows that in the Caribbean, the parrotfish (see image on the left) plays a key role in preventing coral reefs from being dominated by macro-algae (Link to abstract). Following the mass mortality of sea-urchins across the Caribbean reefs in the early 1980’s due to an unknown disease, the majority of the grazing of macro-algae is conducted by the humble parrot fish (Link to Reuters article). Dr Mumby gave a fascinating seminar earlier this year at the University of Queensland entitled “Marine Protected Areas & Coral Reef Ecosystem Resilience” detailing this and other research from his team in this area: