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4th Meeting of the 201st Session (2021-2022)

Cold-water corals in a changing ocean

Professor J Murray Roberts FRSB

Professor J Murray Roberts FRSB

Professor J Murray Roberts FRSB
Professor Applied Marine Biology & Ecology
Head Changing Oceans Research Group
Coordinator European H2020 ATLAS & iAtlantic projects

On Monday 31st January 2022, at 7pm

Although usually associated with shallow tropical seas, there are actually more species of coral in the deep ocean. These corals form diverse seabed habitats from spectacular coral gardens growing on extinct volcanic seamounts to huge deep-sea reefs. Over the last twenty years cold-water coral research has grown exponentially showing them to be amongst the most diverse and dynamic marine ecosystems. It is also now clear that cold-water corals are sentinels of change in the deep ocean. The pressures of rapidly changing ocean conditions and destructive human activities imperil cold-water corals. This talk will discuss these pressures and the steps we can take to conserve them for future generations.

Murray Roberts is Professor of Applied Marine Biology & Ecology at the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences. He leads the Changing Oceans research group and coordinates the European ATLAS and iAtlantic projects. He studies marine ecosystems in context of global change and increasing human activities and works to bring this understanding to policy and ocean governance development. Among his external roles Roberts is a Contributing Author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014, 2019), the UN World Ocean Assessment and has led reports to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.