Corals

Spotlight On: Leslie Guerrero

Coral reefs are foundational and iconic ecosystems that have long captivated many with their vibrant colors, interesting ecology, and ecosystem productivity. However, these beautiful reefs are facing their biggest challenge yet: climate change. How can immobile marine organisms, such as corals, survive and thrive in waters that are steadily warming? Leslie Guerrero, a PhD student in the Bay Lab at UC Davis, is working tirelessly to answer these questions.

Geographical and environmental impacts on symbiotic relationships between anemone and algae

Corals and anemones form a symbiotic partnership with photosynthetic algae based on an exchange of nutrients: the host receives sugar from the algae, the algae receives nutrients and consistent exposure to sunlight from the host. This relationship can break down under stressful conditions, a phenomenon known as 'bleaching,' which, in the case of tropical corals, can quickly lead to the death of the host. Bleaching resistance can arise if a local population consistently encounters and adapts to warmer conditions.

Exploring deep-sea bamboo corals in quarantine

With the unfortunate pandemic of COVID-19 still taking place around the world, it was very difficult to secure an internship and when I was informed of my acceptance to the SRJC-BML internship program, I did not hesitate to immediately confirm my position. This summer I had the pleasure of working and exploring alongside my mentor, Ph.D. Candidate Carina Fish, who is very passionate about the deep ocean and uncovering its past environmental conditions with the help of deep-sea corals.

Spotlight On: Carina Fish

Exploring the Oceans

Corals are one of the most iconic images of the ocean, offering a spectacular scenery of vibrant, underwater castles for snorkelers and divers. But for marine biogeochemist ​Carina Fish​, these vacation spots aren’t just aesthetically pleasing. Corals are biological time capsules, making them a perfect toolset for Fish to utilize as she uncovers stories about the Earth’s past.