The Sprigg Geobiology Centre presented a seminar by Professor John Pandolfi, Director of the Centre for Marine Sciences, University of Queensland.
Prof Pandolfi’s research uses historical events and diverse ecological data sets to tease apart anthropogenic from natural factors that have or may influence present coral reef biodiversity. Data obtained from the Quaternary fossil record (past 2 MA), archaeological records (thousands to tens of thousands of years), historical records, government records of fishing practices and stocks, environmental proxies derived from living and fossil corals, and modern ecological surveys provide a holistic view of changing environments and ecology on coral reefs against which the acquisition of present changes can be evaluated. Correlation of species or ecosystem decline with specific human and environmental impacts over time provides insight into the processes that are most important in the degradation of marine ecosystems. When these processes are uncovered, specific steps can be taken to ameliorate or reverse the decline.