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2008 Pew Fellowship in marine conservation awarded to UM Rosenstiel's Dr. Andrew Baker
Date:2/5/2008

NEW YORK CITY Coral reef scientist Dr. Andrew C. Baker has been awarded the prestigious 2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to help protect reef corals from climate change. Dr. Baker, an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami, plans to develop novel and groundbreaking techniques to enhance the thermal tolerance of corals and help them survive dangerously warming oceans around the world.

Baker, a native of the United Kingdom, is among five of the worlds most innovative and progressive thinkers in ocean science to receive this highly competitive three-year, $150,000 fellowship in support of critical marine environment conservation initiatives. The Pew Institute for Ocean Science administers the awards and today announced the 2008 Fellows, whose projects will be based in Florida, China, France, Australia and Canada (Learn more about the other recipients and their projects at www.pewoceanscience.org).

Dr. Baker is an exceptional scientist, and the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation will support his efforts to protect corals around the world from climate change through direct interventions, said Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Executive Director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science. Reefs are under siege from many threats, but climate change is among the most serious risks to their survival. Dr. Bakers work gives us hope that the oldest and largest corals might be saved.

Corals are simple animals that thrive within a narrow temperature range. They depend on partnerships with microscopic algae (often called zooxanthellae) to help them thrive in shallow tropical seas. These symbiotic algae live inside the corals and provide them with energy from photosynthesis, allowing corals to build their slow-growing limestone skeletons. However, rising temperatures caused by global warming disrupts this partnership, resulting in mass bleaching events in which corals lose their colorful algae and often die.

Dr. Bakers research focus
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Contact: Kathryn Cervino
kcervino@miami.edu
212-756-0042
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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2008 Pew Fellowship in marine conservation awarded to UM Rosenstiel's Dr. Andrew Baker
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