Diversity and ecology of the coral genus Leptoseris in mesophotic environments

Diversity and ecology of the coral genus Leptoseris in mesophotic environments

Internship Description

 

Coral-dominated benthic mesophotic communities are receiving increasing attention as new technologies allow their exploration and new molecular approaches are used to understand the evolution of the organisms that are part of them. They remain, however, largely unexplored and several aspects of their biological diversity and biogeography have not been addressed so far. Among the dominant taxa in benthic mesophotic assemblages, the scleractinian genus Leptoseris is particularly challenging in terms of our understanding of its diversity and ecology. We are looking for a graduate student to investigate: 1) an assessment of the morpho-molecular diversity of mesophotic Leptoseris in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific, 2) a preliminary characterization of the zooxanthellae communities associated to mesophotic Leptoseris.

Faculty Name

Francesca Benzoni

Field of Study

​​Coral reef biodiversity