[Coral-List] Seminal Papers in Coral Reef Research

Magnus Johnson m.johnson at hull.ac.uk
Tue Oct 18 12:38:38 EDT 2011

This is an interesting idea.  I've often thought that academics should get some sort of public acknowledgement of papers that are routinely used for teaching purposes - the overall influence of notoriety in the classroom probably far outweighs a few citations in obscure journals.  I'll be really interested to see what other folk think are key papers that are good for teaching - NB - key paper and good for teaching are not necessarily the same thing, they need to be accessible and often some older papers tend to be less of a publishable salami slice and more of a story.

Some papers that I use routinely on my tropical marine systems module are:

Bellwood, D. R., T. P. Hughes, et al. (2004). "Confronting the coral reef crisis." Nature 429: 827-833.

Côté, I. M. (2000). "Evolution and ecology of cleaning symbioses in the sea." Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 38: 311-355. (students love cleaner fish and this is 'the' review of their basic ecology)

Ellison et al(1999). Origins of mangrove ecosystems and the mangrove diversity anomaly. Global Ecol. & Biogeog. 95-115. (discusses vicariance v centre of origin, I'm probably way out of date using this but it tells a good story and, if I remember rightly, has an awful correlation based on 4 data points in it)

Lessios, H. A. (1988). "Mass mortality of Diadema antillarum in the Caribbean: What have we learned?" Annual Review of Ecological Systems 19: 371-393. (I know its old but again it tells a good story)

I also use the books from the OUP on Reefs (Sheppard) and Seagrasses/Mangroves (Hogarth) because they are accessible and reasonably priced.  I'd like to see a better synthesis of coral reef ecology in a single book that brought together stuff from reefs, mangroves, seagrasses, intertidal and human impacts at a level suitable for university students.  Cote & Reynolds book on coral reef conservation is also one of my recommended texts.

Last year I also made my students do the online course from reef resilience http://www.reefresilience.org/ which I think is accessible to all levels - the feedback from students was that it was a useful supplement.

I think also that the discussions over Chagos (recently covered on the website of the Challenger Society (http://www.challenger-society.org.uk/journals/oceanchallengelatest) are really useful in getting students to think about the complexities of coral reef conservation (and broader contemporary issues of human rights v conservation). 

Cheers, Magnus

-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Bruce Neill
Sent: 17 October 2011 19:47
To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Seminal Papers in Coral Reef Research

We are developing a coral reef research course for high school students and
would like to put together a package of papers that every budding coral reef
researcher should have exposure to.

We would very much like your input.  We will compile and tabulate the
results and post them back to the list.

So, what are the most important papers we can use to inspire, educate and
illuminate the next generation of coral reef researchers?

J. Bruce Neill, Ph.D.
Ocean Advocate and Executive Director
Sanibel Sea School
P.O. Box 1229 - 414 Lagoon Drive - Sanibel, FL 33957
Visit us online! www.sanibelseaschool.org
Read our blog: http://sanibelseaschool.org/blog

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