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Mesophotic Coral Reef Ecosystems
Gordon Research Conference

The Functional Roles of Mesophotic Coral Reefs in the Anthropocene

Dates

June 17-22, 2018

Location

Bates College
Lewiston, ME Site Information

Organizers

Chair:
Michael P. Lesser

Vice Chair:
Marc Slattery

Application Deadline

Applications for this meeting must be submitted by May 20, 2018. Please apply early, as some meetings become oversubscribed (full) before this deadline. If the meeting is oversubscribed, it will be stated here. Note: Applications for oversubscribed meetings will only be considered by the Conference Chair if more seats become available due to cancellations.

Meeting Description

Mesophotic Coral Reef Ecosystems (MCEs) are unique and understudied ecosystems characterized as low-light adapted deep reef communities that occur from ~30-150m. These reefs are typically further offshore from anthropogenic stressors (e.g., coastal development run-off and point-source discharges) and are below the depth limits of most natural stressor events (e.g., storm events and the effects of temperature stress). Additionally, the habitat available for the development of MCEs has been variably estimated at three to ten times the known areal extent of shallow coral reefs (<30 m). As a result, MCEs are increasingly recognized as potentially important refugia for a variety of shallow reef species currently impacted by climate change related stressors. MCE habitats represent a unique ecosystem and there is a critical need to address many questions regarding the structure and function of MCE communities in their own right, but also in the broadest sense that includes their ecological role in the resilience of shallow coral reef communities to environmental insults. The scientists studying MCEs is growing rapidly and includes coral reef ecologists, molecular biologists, oceanographers, physiologists, biogeochemists, paleo-climatologists, fisheries biologists, microbiologists, chemical ecologists, population geneticists and managers interested in resource conservation. This GRC will attract experts from around the world, as well as students and post-doctoral researchers, to present new data and evaluate the evidence supporting the multiple factors controlling the structure and function of MCE communities worldwide.

Contributors

Gordon Research Conferences
National Science Foundation

Session Titles

The Conference will consist of nine sessions, on the topics listed below. The Conference Chair is currently developing their preliminary program, which will include the names of the invited speakers and discussion leaders for each of these sessions. The preliminary program will be available by November 15, 2017. Please check back for updates.

  • Hyperbaric Medicine and Technical Diving Advances Relevant to Mesophotic Coral Reef Research
  • Diversity, Ecophysiology and Community Structure of Mesophotic Coral Reef Ecosystems
  • The Geology and Physical Environment of Mesophotic Coral Reefs
  • Genetic Connectivity Within and Between Mesophotic Coral Reef Ecosystems
  • Reproductive Ecology of Mesophotic Coral Reef Organisms
  • Mesophotic Reefs and the Deep Reef Refugia Hypothesis
  • Fish Communities and Their Ecology on Mesophotic Coral Reefs
  • Anthropogenic Change and the Future of Mesophotic Coral Reefs
  • Challenges and Future Directions in Mesophotic Coral Reef Ecosystem Research
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