Science Up Close: Romance on the Reef | When Threatened Coral Species Mate
Date: 06/11/15 6:30 PM
Location: #UnderwaterFest

Many corals reproduce only once a year in a highly synchronized spawning event. During coral spawning the sea becomes a snowstorm of pink spheres full of eggs and sperm. Sometimes the egg and sperm from different species, such as the threatened elk horn and staghorn corals, can meet and fertile to form a fused staghorn. Unlike sterile mules, these coral hybrids can be reproductive and survive, and in some cases thrive better than the parental species. For instance, unlike the parental species, the fused staghorn coral can live in very shallow water that is susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations, high UV irradiance, and big wave energy. Dr. Nicole Fogarty will take you on a journey of the fascinating phenomena of coral spawning, and how a hybrid may benefit shallow coral reefs.

Acclaimed marine scientists, researchers, and graduate students will lead small group discussions following the presentation.

Dr. Fogarty is an Assistant Professor at Nova Southeastern University, College of Natural Science & Oceanography. After receiving her Ph.D from Florida State University in 2010, she began a Marine Science Network Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce, Florida where she examined the chemical cues involved in coral spawning synchrony. Her current research interests are broadly related to coral reproduction, demography, hybridization, and speciation.

This installment of Science Up Close is generously sponsored by COSEE Florida. Admission is free to the public but RVSP is required at

Contact Name: Meghan Buckley
Contact Phone: (772) 462-7663
Contact Email:

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