Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Lecture: Creating a Future for Coral Reefs, Oct. 26

The College of Arts and Sciences will host a Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar lecture with Forest Rohwer, PhD, professor of biology at San Diego State University, on Tuesday, Oct. 26. “Creating a Future for Coral Reefs (& Hopefully Everyone Else)” will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hixson-Lied Science Building, Room G04.

Anthropogenic stressors, including overfishing, nutrient additions and climate change, cause changes in the viral and microbial communities that lead to coral diseases and global reef decline. This process is called microbialization. To counter microbialization, we are building Coral Reef Arks, tools for preserving coral reef biodiversity and building new coral reefs. In this lecture, Rohwer will discuss microbialization, the Coral Reef Arks project, as well as FLoCS, a project for carbon dioxide drawdown.

Rohwer is a fellow of the American Academy for Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology. He led the development of viromics, which involves isolating and sequencing the RNA/DNA from all of the viruses in a sample. From this data, it is possible to determine what types of viruses are present and what functions they are encoding. Rohwer has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and is the author of Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas and Life in Our Phage World.