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Research GELIFES

GELIFES Seminars - Alan Powderham & Sancia van der Meij

When:Th 17-12-2020 15:00 - 16:00

Alan Powderham (Consulting engineer) & Sancia van der Meij (GELIFES-GREEN)

At the heart of the Coral Triangle – A photographic odyssey

Our ‘scientific coffee table book’ titled At the Heart of the Coral Triangle – Celebrating Biodiversity will be published by Taylor & Francis on December 15th, 2020. This book combines stunning photography along with scientifically rigorous text, and highlights the incredible diversity of the marine life of the Coral Triangle in Southeast Asia. It concentrates on less observed reef creatures and offers insights into many unique animal behaviors and relationships. In this seminar, using material from the book, we will take you on a photographic odyssey, highlighting examples from each of the nine chapters. We will provide background information on the behaviour and ecology of the species featured in the book, as well as details on how the photographs were taken.

Alan’s background:
Alan Powderham has been an underwater photographer for over 40 years having his first book, Venezuela Submarina, on the marine life of the southern Caribbean published in 1983. By profession he is an engineering consultant specialising in sustainable construction and environmental engineering, promoting green and low carbon technology. He has dived extensively in the Coral Triangle over the last 16 years particularly in the central zone comprising the 1500 km of Indonesia from Bali to West Papua and, during the last 6 years, making over 300 dives with rebreather technology.

Sancia’s background:
After my MSc at Leiden University I continued with a PhD on "Evolutionary diversification of coral-dwelling gall crabs" at Leiden University & Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands. From there I moved to the University of Oxford in the UK where I worked as a Research Fellow, continuing my research on diversification in tropical host-dwelling invertebrates. Subsequently I accepted a Tenure Track assistant professorship at GELIFES, setting up my research group in Marine Evolutionary Ecology – informally called the Symbiosis Lab. With two PhD students, an FSE fellow and an enthusiastic group of MSc students I study various characteristics of symbiotic taxa. We use a multi-facetted approach by applying techniques of genomics, bioinformatics, physiology, biogeography, morphology and taxonomy.

Link to seminar