New study by SIO alum, Dr. Maggie Johnson, reveals how turf algae fare in the face of global change

Dr. Maggie Johnson, a recent Smith Lab PhD grad, recently published a study in the journal Coral Reefs revealing how epilithic and endolithic algae (that is, algae that grows on top of and beneath the surface of “rocks”, respectively) respond to increasing ocean temperature and acidification (lower pH). Samples were collected from turf-covered substrate in Moorea, and were exposed for … Read More

Herbivore management may be the key to balancing the energetic budget on coral reefs

A new paper published by Emily Kelly and colleagues explains how we can balance the energetic budget on Hawaiian coral reefs through herbivore management and protection. Herbivores on coral reefs play an important role in controlling algal growth, but in systems where density of herbivores is low, algae can grow at a faster rate than they are consumed, resulting in a … Read More

What are scientists saying about the fate of the Great Barrier Reef?

This week PBS interviewed scientists, including Dr. Jennifer Smith, about the effects of climate change on the health of the Great Barrier Reef. Click here to learn more about the science behind global warming and coral bleaching and what actions you can take daily to help preserve coral reefs!

Smith lab and colleagues find that Crown of Thorns (COTS) larvae can take up organic matter derived from corals

Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Larvae can feed on Organic Matter Released from Corals Ryota Nakajima, Nobuyuki Nakatomi, Haruko Kurihara, Michael D. Fox, Jennifer E. Smith, and Ken Okaji Abstract: Previous studies have suggested that Crown-of-Thorns starfish (COTS) larvae may be able to survive in the absence of abundant phytoplankton resources suggesting that they may be able to utilize alternative food sources. Here, … Read More

Smith lab and colleagues present an autonomous approach to measure coral reef net calcification and production rates

Assessment of net community production and calcification of a coral reef using a boundary layer approach Abstract: Coral reefs are threatened worldwide, and there is a need to develop new approaches to monitor reef health under natural conditions. Because simultaneous measurements of net community production (NCP) and net community calcification (NCC) are used as important indicators of reef health, tools are … Read More

Coralline Algae: The Unsung Architects of Coral Reefs

Maggie Johnson is a third-year PhD student in the Smith Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. This is a blog she wrote for the Smithsonian Institution’s Ocean Portal describing her recent cruise to the Southern Line Islands, along with other researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

2013 Expedition: Journey to the Southern Line Islands

Members of the Smith Lab, along with other collaborators, have begun their one month journey to the Southern Line Islands, a group of uninhabitated islands in the central Pacific, to gather more information on how coral reef ecosystems are altered by human activities.