Re: April RK article


New member
Re: April RK article

My new goal in life is to use the word 'allochthonously' in Scrabble. Zooxanthellae would be a good one too but Bob Trench won't allow me to use that word.

LOL - is it his exclusive domain (it should be!). Say hello to him from Jerry Wellington and myself...we are working on adaptive bleaching tests in closed systems now - do you guys have any strains in culture?

btw, you only get seven tiles in Scrabble....dang shame, huh?

What do you do?
Ha! No, Bob says that 'zooxanthellae' has no scientific meaning and shouldn't be used. I took his symbiosis seminar when I was a grad student here at UCSB. I had written my entire presentation using that word and had to consciously change it to Symbiodinium every time I read it. I can't remember the details now but we had a pretty good discussion about whether the 'algae' was symbiotic with the corals or vice-versa. He retired several years ago and is now living somewhere in Maine, I think. I haven't been in touch with him since he left. I was good friends with his grad student at the time (Todd LaJeunesse). He is currently doing a post-doc in Georgia and is working on the different clades of Symbiodinium. I am sure that he has several cultures of Symbiodinium but I doubt any actual corals.

My original biological background was in insect flight physiology. After getting my masters I got a job as a lab tech in a marine physiology lab here at UCSB. The prof's name is James Childress and we do deep-sea hydrothermal vent research. I just try and keep all the equipment running as best I can.

I wish we had another coral researcher here. It is a perfect place for it. Having a NSW supply right in the lab is really nice. I think Dr. Childress is plannin on retiring in the next 4 years or so, hint, hint...

It is a shame about the number of tiles in scrabble. I don't think normal people would believe those were words anyway!

LOL. I just found out from Jerry today that he is in Maine.

no, zooxanthellae really doesn't have much meaning...I'm not sure Symbiodinium is much better, either!

And, assessing "who's in charge" is one of the biggest questions in front of us...I totally agree!

I'm quite familiar with Todd's work - hope to meet him one day.

Good luck to you...and my advisor was a colleague of Bob's at Snata Barbara - small world, huh?

Anyway, not much chance I'll wind up there, but who knows? I think I'm headed for Australia or some island group once I'm finished...but, we'll see.

I am finding that the whole scientific community is a small world. One of my college profs (Charles Fisher) worked as a lab tech and post doc for my current boss. That is pretty funny that your advisor was a colleague of Bob's out here. I hope you get to meet Todd at some point. He is really one of the nicest people I have ever met and is really passionate about the work he is doing. I keep trying to get in touch with him and he is always either off in the field or at some conference.

I am trying to start refamiliarizing myself with the coral literature. I was wondering if you could post bibliographys of particularly interesting coral papers as stickies at the top of your forum? It would be pretty neat to get people discussing current scientific studies. I know that your are busy enough as it is so I can understand if you don't have the time to do so.

Regarding Symbiodinium, (excuse my ignorance) have other species of symbiotic dinoflagellates been found in association with corals? Or is it the various clades that make the term Symbiodinium too general?

I really like the debate over "who is in charge". It is really too easy to just assume that the animal is in charge and leave it at that. If there have been any reviews on this topic, let me know.

I hope that you enjoy wherever you end up. Did I mention there are girls in bikinis out here? They are everywhere! :eek1:


yeah, there are other genera now - Gyrodinium, Gymnodinium is sort of being resurrected, Prorocentrum, Gleodinium - and as the cladisitcs get worked out, I'm sure there will be more.

I'd love to do the scientific article postie fact, I think I'll start immediately and add it to the RK magazine, too.
I forgot to tell you about my first reef tank. Todd and I set up a 20gal tank for his coral reef lab in '98. It was a good example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Todd wanted to use PC lights which were just starting to be available. The only "white" lights we could find were more of a reddish color so we offset a few of those with a few blue bulbs. The resulting color was some sort of icky orange-brown. ('icky' is a scientific term!) We used a fluval canister filter filled with ceramic media for "filtration". The tank had, maybe, 10lbs of live rock and we didn't feed it at all. This was of course to keep water quality high. We did do weekly NSW changes. There were no fish and no clean-up crew in the tank and I am sure it had a CC 1/2" sandbed. One good thing we did was to leave the tank set up with live rock for several months before we put any corals in the tank. We then put a hodgepoge of corals in the tank for the students in his class to identify. I don't remember much about how the corals fared in that tank. I was too excited about just having corals in the tank. It is amazing how much more I know now. I have recently been wondering what the next major paradigm shift will be in this hobby.

I am really excited right now though. I just ordered a new 90g tank last weekend. This will technically be my 3rd reef tank and I think I am finally ready to do it right. I don't really like the rock wall approach so am planning on having 2 islands of rock in the tank with large areas of open sand. My plan is to have a small number of fish and a small number of Acropora and Montipora and let them grow over time to make something that looks more natural than the wall of frags. Basically, I just want something that looks different.

I look forward to the scientific articles! I just went to the library and copied the chimerism article. Interesting stuff.