Dr. Szmant’s research focuses on the reproductive ecology and physiological ecology of reef corals and on nutrient dynamics in tropical coastal systems. Past studies on corals have included: coral reproductive ecology and energetics; nitrogen metabolism including exchange of nitrogenous compounds between corals and their algal endosymbionts; and calcification and skeletal formation. A present study combines laboratory and field experimentation to factors that affect coral larval settlement and recruitment dynamics. A new collaborative study is applying genomic approaches to understand in detail the establishment of the coral-algal symbiosis and other developmental processes. We are also conducting experiments to investigate the ability of corals to regulate internal pH and calcification rates in the face of changes in seawater CO2 chemistry and pH.
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