Advancing conservation of the "Amazon of the Ocean" through genetics and capacity building

A seminar by Paul Barber, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Wednesday, December 05, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300, large conference room

About the Talk

Indonesia is the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. High biodiversity in this region is paradoxical because high dispersal potential of marine organisms in their larval phase should preclude the genetic isolation required for speciation. Comparative phylogeography of more than 40 taxa highlight the importance of historical and contemporary physical oceanography in driving regional isolation of marine population across the Coral Triangle, aiding in the framing of regional marine conservation planning. More importantly, our research activities have been used to develop a vibrant international program focused on building research capacity in Indonesia through joint research-intensive courses for US and Indonesian students, culminating in the opening of the Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center in 2010. These activities are raising the visibility of marine biodiversity in Indonesia, a critical first step in galvanizing international support for conservation of these imperiled habitats.

About the Speaker

My research focuses on the evolution and conservation of marine biodiversity, particularly within the Coral Triangle, the most diverse seas in the world. We integrate a variety of genetic techniques with geology, physical oceanography, and computer modeling to understand the environmental processes that promote speciation and the creation of novel biodiversity, and use this data to help inform marine conservation planning. I am a strong advocate of scientific capacity building, and have developed several international programs to jointly train US and Indonesian scientists.