29 Sep 2020

OIST marine scientist allied to prestigious coral reef center

Professor Timothy Ravasi, Principal Investigator at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University’s (OIST) Marine Climate Change Unit, has been invited to work alongside researchers at James Cook University’s Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as an adjunct professor. Professor Ravasi is recognized for his world class coral reef fish research and his planned activities with the Centre, which includes collaborating with its researchers and co-supervising its students.

Professor Timothy Ravasi and PhD student, Michael Izumiyama, at Iōtorishima, a volcanic island in the Okinawa Prefecture. Professor Ravasi and Michael were part of a larger multi-institutional research collaboration that visited the island in September to look at how fish communities were responding the underwater CO2 seeps that mimic possible future conditions.

At OIST, Professor Ravasi has established a multi-disciplinary research program aiming to understand the effects of climate change on coral reef ecosystems, with a focus on fish communities. One of Professor Ravasi’s notable projects involved leading the team who assembled the genome of Nemo – the orange clownfish, Amphiprion percula.

“I am very honored to have been offered this position,” said Professor Ravasi. “It’s the most important center for coral reef study in the world and it will allow me to expand my contributions to this field. And it’s very good for OIST. We’ll be able grow our research networks and our marine science program.”

This center at James Cook University was established as one of the first centers to solely focus on coral reef research. It covers all aspects of the research, stretching from fundamental science to environmental management and policy. Furthermore, the Marine Science undergraduate program at James Cook University has been nominated over the last few years as the top Marine Science program in the world.

“This type of formal association will facilitate student internships and postdocs between the two universities,” said Professor Ravasi. “And it will allow us to showcase the OIST PhD program as a possibility to graduates.”

Cover image credit: Tane Sinclair-Taylor.

 

By Lucy Dickie


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