PhD Defense Seminar cum Oral Examination
“Connectivity of coral populations within the Singapore Strait”
Speaker: Tay Ywee Chieh (Graduate Student, Dept. of Biological Sciences, NUS)
Date: 26 November 2012, Monday
Venue: DBS Conference Room (S3 Level 5) #05-01
Supervisor: Asst Prof Peter Alan, Todd
Co-supervisor: Prof Chou Loke Ming
The marine environment is a dynamic system that facilitates movement of organisms between populations, a process required for sustaining healthy communities and ensuring their continued propagation. In this study, I examined the predicted and realized connectivity patterns, and the genetic diversity of coral populations within the Singapore Strait. Using different tools, e.g. hydrological simulations and genetic markers, this study aimed to (1) enhance our knowledge on coral population dynamics, and (2) assess the long-term viability of the populations. The population genetics of two hard coral species with different reproductive strategies, Platygyra sinensis and Pocillopora damicornis, were analysed and compared to get a broader perspective on the coral population connectivity dynamics. A set of newly-developed microsatellite markers for P. sinensis was also described. Identification of population connectivity patterns can help prioritize conservation efforts to target key reefs, and determine vulnerable versus stable populations. This is the first detailed study on the connectivity of Singapore’s coral reefs. The findings of my research can support local coral reef managers’ decision-making processes, especially in light of Singapore’s need to balance economic and environmental concerns. Through the course of this assessment, I also compared and discussed some of the different strategies used to make these assessments.
All are welcome!