We’re always pleased to see new presentations, new ideas, and new speakers. Reefapalooza featured a great new presentation a few months ago that we were fortunate enough to attend titled How Bacteria Affect Corals and Overall Reef Health.
Katie Barott is a doctoral student working in the esteemed lab of Dr. Forest Rohwer. If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Rohwer, he’s quite possibly the top marine biologist in the world and has one of the most cutting edge and progressive labs around. Katie fits the mold for the lab as a researcher interested in bacteria, viruses, corals, and disease. The presentation features some of the commonly quoted massive numbers of millions of bacteria per teaspoon of seawater, and the even bigger and mind boggling numbers of viruses. But what really makes the presentation cool is the up close and personal accounts Katie presents. Her photos of healthy vs unhealty reef systems and those reefs with very little human impact are worth of discussion and a great way to get hobbyists thinking about reef ecology. She’s a delight to chat with, very knowledgeable, is quite cheerful and smiley, and is a crowd pleaser with her ability to present.
Not sure when you can catch Katie next, but for those of you in So Cal I’d recommend looking into booking Katie for your events. Also, Katie hails from Michigan where we seem to have a thriving hobby. With any luck we’ll catch up with her in Michigan sometime soon and report back with new research details.