The 4th Annual Miami Underwater Festival kicks off with the fifth installment of the Museumâ€™s popular Science Up Close event series, an evening of casual science conversations, with this edition featuring Nicole D. Fogarty, PhD, Assistant Professor, Nova Southeastern Universityâ€™s College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography.Â Many corals reproduce only once a year in a highly synchronized spawning event. During coral spawning the sea becomes a snowstorm of pink spheres full of eggs and sperm. Sometimes the egg and sperm from different species, such as the threatened elkhorn and staghorn corals, can meet and fertilize to form a fused staghorn. Unlike sterile mules, these coral hybrids can be reproductive and survive, and in some cases thrive better than the parental species. For instance, unlike the parental species, the fused staghorn coral can live in very shallow water that is susceptible to extreme temperature fluctuations, high UV irradiance, and high wave energy. Dr. Fogarty will take you on a journey of the fascinating phenomena of coral spawning, and how a hybrid may benefit shallow coral reefs.
Acclaimed marine scientists, researchers, and graduate students will lead small group discussions following the presentation.Â Guests will enjoy music by the University of Miami Frost School of Music along with complimentary beverages by Wynwood Brewing Company and Vita Coco Coconut Water. The Museumâ€™s Sea Lab will be open during the event for guests to experience.Â This installment of Science Up Close is generously sponsored by COSEE Florida. Admission is free to the public but RVSP is required.