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Reef Fish Communities in the Arabian Gulf: Insights into the Future of Tropical Oceans Under Climate Change
The Arabian Gulf is one of the most thermally extreme marine environments on earth, representing a unique "natural laboratory" in which to develop an understanding of how marine organisms may respond to future climate change in other regions. Coral reefs represent the most biodiverse coastal ecosystem in Arabia, and they are home to a diverse array of ecologically and economically important fish communities that serve numerous functionally important roles and support the economic activities of human populations. By examining the patterns and processes driving the dynamics of reef fish communities in this region, we can better understand the implications of future climate change elsewhere in the tropics. In this seminar, John Burt will provide background on the environmental setting of the Gulf, and provide an overview of what he and his group have learned over their past decade of studying reef fish communities in the region, and what this might suggest for the future of tropical reefs across the globe as their temperatures reach Gulf-like conditions in the coming decades.
About the speaker
John Burt is an Associate Professor of Biology and Head of the Environmental Studies Program at New York University Abu Dhabi. A marine biologist, Burt uses the Arabian Gulf as a "natural laboratory" to study coral reef ecology in extreme environments and to understand how these may serve as a model for the possible impacts of future climate change on reefs elsewhere. His current research seeks to examine how marine communities in these extreme environments respond to and recover from extreme temperatures, and how variation in environmental conditions affect biogeographic patterns of community structure of corals, fish and other marine organisms in the region. In addition, Burt continues to study the ecological and management implications of coastal developments in urban areas and seeks to develop more sustainable coastal management practices in the Gulf. He has been based in Abu Dhabi since 2009, and has published over 90 scholarly articles and book chapters on marine ecology and conservation in Arabia.
ORCID #: 0000-0001-6087-6424
For more information, please contact [email protected].