My research group in the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University uses genomic tools to study genetic variation and adaptation in marine invertebrates like corals and oysters.
Working on corals in the field can be great fun but is incredibly limiting. Experiments conducted using corals from natural populations are not very reproducible, and travel costs and seasonality of coral reproduction slow our progress. So my team is working to bring corals into the lab.
This project is an exciting step in that direction. Favia fragum grows and reproduces exceptionally quickly in captivity, taking only about 1.5 years to grow from larvae to reproductive maturity. This system will enable experiments that would take literally several decades in more commonly studied corals.
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