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A big lesson from the reef
Date:5/7/2009

how populations of different species change and interact over time and how this drives the dynamics of biodiversity itself, now and in the deep past.

Among his achievements he has produced a model that helped pinpoint a previously unknown impact of ocean acidification caused by high CO2 in the atmosphere increased loss of coral species due to storm damage.

His work on the geographic ranges of coral species has challenged the conventional view that conservation should focus mainly on 'hot spots' of species diversity.

Sean was a co-author of the Townsville Declaration on Coral Reef Research and Management, hailed by The Australian newspaper as "a remarkable example of an increased willingness by governments to heed scientific advice."

He has identified a continued collapse in the populations of reef sharks on the Great Barrier Reef from over-fishing and his work is now helping to improve shark management in Queensland.

Sean Connolly ranks in the top 1 per cent of the world's ecological scientists in terms of the number of times his work is cited by other researchers. He combines mathematical and statistical modelling with fieldwork and laboratory experiments to study biological turnover at all scales, including population dynamics, species interactions and biodiversity, and macroevolution.

He received his doctorate in 1999 from Stanford University (USA) for research on the ecology of rocky shores. In 1999-2000, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Arizona (USA) where he examined global dynamics of marine biodiversity in the fossil record. In 2000, he came to James Cook University in Australia to lead a research program in ecological modelling applied to coral reefs.

Sean has 32 publications in leading international journals including Nature, and he has supervised 22 Postgraduate and Honours students since 2001. He currently holds an Australian Professorial Fellowship fro
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Contact: Sean Connolly
Sean.Connolly@jcu.edu.au
041-942-2815
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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