group photo of the Frontiers Planet prize recipients

(photo by Melanie Woodin)

Ecology and evolutionary biology researchers win prestigious Frontiers Planet Prize

A team comprising University of Toronto alumna Ariel Greiner, University Professor Marie-Josée Fortin, Associate Professor Martin Krkosek and Adjunct Professor Emily Darling has been named one of 20 Frontiers Planet Prize National Champions from around the world.

The Frontiers Planet Prize – a new international competition that seeks scientific solutions to stabilize our planet’s ecosystem and supports the scaling-up of the most promising strategies – recognized the group for their paper "Limited spatial rescue potential for coral reefs lost to future global warming," published in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography.

The researchers are all members of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology in the Faculty of Arts & Science – with the exception of Greiner, a former graduate student with the department who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Pennsylvania State University and Oxford University.

"I was deeply honoured to see a study from my PhD recognized in this way on an international stage,” Greiner says. “This study describes six major coral reef networks worldwide and highlights the lack of connections between the climate-resilient reefs that are currently being prioritized and other reefs worldwide, stressing the importance of further study of these reef networks to find 'stepping-stone' reefs that, if conserved, can reseed reefs that are unreachable from these prioritized reefs.

“We hope with the Frontiers Planet Prize platform, this study will reach scientists, conservation managers and policy-makers from around the world who can take this work further and use it to improve global coral reef conservation efforts.”

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