• The Baums Laboratory
    at The Pennsylvania State University

Why study coral reef ecosystems?

High human population densities on the world’s tropical shores and changing environmental conditions such as a warming global climate have had significant and detrimental impacts on coral reefs. Time is running out, and it is in our best interest to understand and protect these highly diverse ecosystems that provide important services to local and national economies. In fact, coral reefs are often considered the “medicine cabinet” of the 21st century and promising natural compounds with a range of medicinal properties have been discovered in reef invertebrates and microbes.

In the Baums Lab we use molecular techniques to answer fundamental questions about marine evolution and ecology to guide coral reef conservation efforts. Please browse our research to learn more about our specific areas of study, and please visit our opportunities page if you're interested in joining our lab.

News and Announcements

Draft genome assemblies for Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis available

We are excited to announce the release of our draft genome assemblies of the threatened elkhorn coral, Acropora palmata and the staghorn coral, Acropora cervicornis. Although we are continuing to improve these assemblies, they already match or exceed those of the other published coral genomes for many quality metrics and so, in the interest of open data access and accelerating scientific progress we are making them available ahead of publication.

We generated this data as part of a collaborative project with Webb Miller at Pennsylvania State University and Nicole Fogarty's Lab at NOVA Southeastern University. Because these assemblies are still undergoing refinement and have not yet been published, please register before using the data so that we can reach you with updates and coordinate interests. Please send a request via email with your intended use of the data by contacting Iliana Baums, and cc Meghann Devlin-Durante and Sheila Kitchen. Major funding for this project was provided by the National Science Foundation, OCE-1537959.

Reef Resilience Webinar - December 7, 2017

Assisted Evolution: A Novel Tool to Overcome the Conservation Crisis?

December 7, 2017 from 9:00am – 5:15pm CET (3:00am – 11:15am EST)

Join us for a discussion of the legal, social, ethical and scientific landscape of conservation genetics today. This symposium will be live streamed on December 7 from 9:00am – 5:15pm CET (3:00am – 11:15am EST) and is part of the Coral Restoration Consortium webinar series in conjunction with The Geomar Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and “The Future Ocean” cluster in Kiel. Speakers will share information on new approaches for the conservation of coral reefs such as assisted colonization and assisted evolution and synthetic biology.

View detailed program View presentations