Williams on "Corals and Coral Reefs - New Perspectives"

Start Date/Time: Thursday, December 09, 2010, 11:00 AM
Location: Northwest Fisheries Science Center Auditorium, 2725 Montlake Blvd. E., Seattle

NWFS Monstor Jam
http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/events/monster.cfm

Dr. Gary Williams
Curator
Invertebrate Zoology and Geology
California Academy of Sciences

ABSTRACT
This seminar addresses aspects of recent research and new discoveries regarding the systematics and evolutionary biology of corals, particularly the octocorals, as well as a synopsis of the history of thought regarding the origin and development of coral reefs.

Subjects that will be covered include: a general introduction to coral biology; the importance of field research and field researchers in making significant discoveries and contributions regarding our knowledge of the natural world; coral reef theory; deep-water corals biodiversity and new discoveries; and the importance of research and monitoring with applications to our developing understanding of climate change and the impacts of climate change on coral populations. The talk concludes with three underwater video clips showing the collection of the holotype of a recently discovered and described nephtheid soft coral from 1000 m in depth, a pulsating xeniid soft coral of Indo-Pacific coral reefs, and the repeated partial rotation of a pennatulid sea pen.

BIO
Dr. Gary C. Williams is a Curator in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology & Geology at the California Academy of Sciences, as well as a Research Professor in the Department of Biology at San Francisco State University. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. from San Francisco State University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Cape Town. He is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and of the California Academy of Sciences. Dr. Williams' main research interest is in the systematics and evolutionary biology of octocorals (soft corals, gorgonians, and pennatulaceans), as well as in the history of research and exploration. He has performed field research across the tropical western Pacific, particularly in Melanesia, the Philippines, and Micronesia. Dr. Williams has also had research projects in the Galapagos Islands, Patagonia, the Gulf of Guinea, Southern Africa, the Russian Far East, Antarctica, and the subarctic.

RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS

Leviton, A.E., M.L. Aldrich, G.C. Williams, P.U. Rodda. 2010. Geology at the California Academy of Sciences, 1853-1907. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 61(11): 547-573.

Williams, G.C., J.C. Delbeek, B. Shepherd, S. Wolters. 2010. Zooxanthellae in ellisellid gorgonians of the Philippines. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 61(18): 647-648.

Williams, G.C. 2007. New species of the pennatulacean genera Acanthoptilum and Stylatula (Octocorallia: Virgulariidae) from New Zealand and the Campbell Plateau: both genera previously considered endemic to the west coast of the Americas and Atlantic Ocean. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 58(15): 339-348.

Williams, G.C. 2007. History of Invertebrate Zoology at the California Academy of Sciences. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 58(12): 197-239.

Williams, G.C. 2006. Replacement Name Proposed for the Genus Simpsonella Stiasny, 1940 (Octocorallia: Chrysogorgiddae), Precoccupied by Simpsonella Cockeraell, 1903 (Bivalvia: Unionidae). Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 57: 733-735.

Williams, G.C. and P.J. López-González. 2005. A New Genus and Species of Gorgonian Octocoral (Anthozoa:lexauridae) from Antarctic Waters. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 56 (26): 379-390.

Williams, G.C. 2005. New Taxa of Octocorals (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) from the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 56 (5): 53-65.