Organizers: Vanessa Robitzch1, Ricardo Beldade2, May B. Roberts3, Michael L. Berumen1, Geoff Jones4 & Simon Thorrold5

Affiliations: 1/ Red Sea Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia; 1/ CRIOBE – USR 3278 CNRS EPHE UPVD, PSL, Labex Corail, Moorea, French Polynesia; 3/ Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA; 4/ ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia; 5/ Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA.


Lead contact: Vanessa Robitzch & Ricardo Beldade

Description: Dispersal holds a central role for the dynamics and evolution of populations, allowing the genetic cohesion of a species across space, its global persistence despite local extinction, and the tracking of favorable environmental conditions in an ever-changing world. For most marine fishes the most important dispersive phase ends at settlement, during this period it is challenging to predict, observe, and track individuals. This phase is commonly known as the “black box” of a fish’s life cycle, but through multiple tools such as modeling approaches (fed by oceanographic and biological data), ecological and molecular approaches, information can be gathered to understand the functioning of dispersal in different species and at different geographic and temporal scales. At the IPFC 2017 “Connectivity and Dispersal Symposium”, we will aim at gathering contributions from both theoretical and empirical studies, shedding light into dispersal evolution in fishes and enumerating future challenges in this field in a time when fishing and other anthropogenic impacts such as coastal development, pollution, and climate change are greatest. For this reasons, we would like to invite presenters to bring forth studies of connectivity, dispersal, and movement that embrace physical, molecular, and other ecological tools in the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

Expected Audience: We believe this session will be of great interest for a wide range of marine scientists (physical oceanographers and modelers, (molecular) ecologists, conservation biologists, biogeographers, physiologists) and policy makers as it tackles multidisciplinary and primary questions on the sources and distribution ranges of fish populations, as well as pathways for the maintenance of biodiversity in increasingly threatened coral reefs. We encourage studies broadly related to dispersal, including classical and new tools evaluating movement of fishes in evolutionary, ecological, conservation, and management contexts.