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Modeling reef ecosystems focus of workshop

Coral reef ecosystems are highly valued for their diverse fish and invertebrate communities that support multibillion dollar reef fishing and tourism industries, but they are also threatened by regional human population growth and over-exploitation.

The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) is now accepting applications for its Investigative Workshop, Modeling Reef Ecosystems, to be held July 21-23, 2010, at NIMBioS on the University of Tennessee-Knoxville campus. The purpose of this workshop is to evaluate the potential for development of a comprehensive coral reef systems model that links the effects of multiple environmental stressors, such as water quality, exploitation, episodic events, climate changes, and vessel groundings to the persistence and sustainability of reef ecosystems stretching from coastal bays to coral reefs.

By bringing together a broad range of experts in coral reef ecology and applied mathematics, including individuals in both academia and government, the workshop will work toward integrating existing and future research into a systems model that could be used by decision-makers to ensure long-term sustainable use of coral reef resources.

For more information about the workshop and a link to the online application form, go to

Application deadline: May 3, 2010.

The Reef Ecosystems Workshop is organized by Susan Harrell Yee, an ecololgist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Jerald S. Ault, professor of marine biology and fisheries at the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science.

NIMBioS Investigative Workshops involve 30-40 participants, of which about half are invited. Individuals with a strong interest in the topic can also apply to attend.


Contact: Catherine Crawley
National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)

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