First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Aidan MurphyFollow
Patrick O’DonnellFollow

Mentor/s

Dr. LaTina Steele

Participation Type

Poster

Abstract

To understand how best to restore damaged coral reefs, one must first understand how best to nurture and grow fragments of coral. For our purposes, we used the Indo-Pacific, coralDuncanopsammia axifuga as a model organism, as it is integral to the reef ecosystem both structurally and ecologically, as well as it is readily available to scientists, since it is not a threatened species. The controlled lab experiment was set up in a way that two replicate groups were isolated when fed, one group was fed 30mL of phytoplankton three times a week, while the other was fed zooplankton on the same three days. We recorded how long the corals actively fed, and comparisons were made along the duration of the project regarding starting size, number of polyps, amount of sprouting polyp buds, and in the future, we hope to analyze the density of the coral’s skeleton between the two groups. We expect our results to be able to help provide valuable information for coral reef restoration projects for years to come.

College and Major available

College of Arts and Sciences, Biology, Chemistry MS, Coastal & Marine Science

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

Dr. LaTina Steele

Location

Digital Commons

Start Day/Time

5-5-2021 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

5-5-2021 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Aidan Lawrence Murphy Coastal and Marine Science major class of 2022

Patrick O’Donnell Coastal and Marine Science major class of 2021

Honorable mention, Most Creative 2021 award.

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 4:00 PM

How Phytoplankton and Zooplankton Effect Growth Rates of Duncanopsammia axifuga Corals

Digital Commons

To understand how best to restore damaged coral reefs, one must first understand how best to nurture and grow fragments of coral. For our purposes, we used the Indo-Pacific, coralDuncanopsammia axifuga as a model organism, as it is integral to the reef ecosystem both structurally and ecologically, as well as it is readily available to scientists, since it is not a threatened species. The controlled lab experiment was set up in a way that two replicate groups were isolated when fed, one group was fed 30mL of phytoplankton three times a week, while the other was fed zooplankton on the same three days. We recorded how long the corals actively fed, and comparisons were made along the duration of the project regarding starting size, number of polyps, amount of sprouting polyp buds, and in the future, we hope to analyze the density of the coral’s skeleton between the two groups. We expect our results to be able to help provide valuable information for coral reef restoration projects for years to come.