Baums Coral Reef Research Group Research volunteer Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA August 2013-present
Project: Montastraea faveolata compatibilty August 2013-May 2014 I used genetic analyses to determine the compatibility between different boulder coral colonies based on genotype ratios of larvae in a controlled cross. The colonies studied resided in a nursery and are to be planted in the wild with the colonies most likely to mate with them. Unfortunately, the parents in the cross, chosen in the field based on distance, were clones so no inferences could be made on compatibility . We did learn that clones of coral colonies can exist hundreds of meters apart.
Project:Acropora cervicornis compatibility August 2014-present The same procedures as the boulder coral compatibility study was carried out with the endangered staghorn coral. However, this time the parents were genotyped before the crosses were performed to insure no clones were present. Using the program Cervus, 15% of the larvae were assigned parents. The rest were either self-crossed or contained alleles that did not match any of the possible parents. I am still investigating possibilities.