The Fall 2023 Biology Seminar Series continues with a talk from Dr. Maria Ruggeri, "‘Nature’, ‘nurture’, or ‘partner'? Mechanisms of climate change resistance in symbiotic cnidarians."
As climate change is set to exceed the current physiological limits of many species, survival in future oceans will depend on the ability to acclimate, adapt, and/or migrate. However, this response may be further complicated by ecological interactions, such as symbioses, where the fate of two or more organisms are tied together. Cnidarians, such as coral and sea anemones, form a mutually beneficial relationship with microscopic algae, but this symbiosis breaks down under high temperature. My research focuses on teasing apart genetic (nature), environmental (nurture), and partner effects driving cnidarian-algal symbioses across extreme environments to predict how these ecologically important relationships will respond to climate change.