Deep-Sea Corals

Live Desmophyllum cristagalli

collected from Muir Seamount in

2003. Live D. criss will also be

extracted and have ITS1 and ITS2

regions sequenced to compare to

fossil D. cristagalli sequences.

New Molecular Tools to Examine Paleo-phylogeographic Responses to Climate Change: Ancient Coral Migrations in the North Atlantic
Waller & Shank

The biodiversity of seamounts and, in particular, the fragility of deep-sea coral populations has received heightened media and scientific attention in recent years. The ability of corals to harbor a broad array of associated fauna (many endemic), including commercially important fish species, makes them of immediate interest to conservationists, managers and scientists. Yet our understanding of the historical processes that have shaped the biodiversity and biogeography of corals (and their habitats) is still in its infancy. Read more...

 Lophelia pertusa

Lophelia pertusa

Oil Affects on Reproduction of the Deep-Water Coral Lophelia pertusa on North Sea Oil Rigs
Waller, Roberts & Gass

The deep-sea coral Lophelia pertusa was first found growing on North Sea oil platforms in 1999, as the Brent Spar oil-storage buoy was decommissioned and as the Beryl Alpha platform was surveyed. This work showed corals were relatively abundant at depths beneath the seasonal thermocline in the northern North Sea. This project mainly examines the effect of drilling fluids on these corals reproductive processes by studying colonies that have been collected from both exposed and unexposed areas of the drilling platforms. Read more...