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Paul Jokiel

University of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB)

Future Climate Change and the Hawaiian Marine Environment: Causes, Consequences, and Mitigation

Paul Jokiel has been working as a full time researcher on coral reefs at HIMB since 1969. His first research area at the University of Hawai‘i was on the impact of temperature on reef corals. He has been part of the ongoing concern over global climate change from the beginning and thus has a unique historical perspective. His published papers predicted and reported on the first bleaching events in Hawai‘i resulting from global warming. Recently he collaborated on experiments that describe the impact of ocean acidification on Hawai‘i coral reefs with four recent papers on that topic. He has published in a wide range of areas related to coral reef ecology. He was the first to demonstrate the importance of UV radiation on coral reefs. He showed that corals used night irradiance to synchronize spawning. He published significant papers in biogeography (Vortex Model), dispersal of corals and other organisms by rafting, and did pioneering work in the area of comparative immunology of corals and sponges with the late Bill Hildemann of the University of California, Los Angeles. He has also been concerned with factors that control the distributions of corals such as water motion, sedimentation, nutrients and lowered salinity. Some of his recent work is directed at the problem of mitigation of damage to reefs and their restoration. In 1998 he initiated the statewide Hawai‘i Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program, which also included a significant component on mapping of Hawaiian coral reefs. His current activity includes work on climate change, extension of his ecological studies into the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Work that was recently completed includes collaborative studies with the U.S. Geological Service on impact of sedimentation on the reefs of south Moloka‘i and completion of mapping Hawaiian coral reef habitats in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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