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.