Two alumni, faculty publish on Bahamian coral reef demise | St. Lawrence University Geology

Two alumni, faculty publish on Bahamian coral reef demise

Peter E. Loree ‘14, John T. Murphy Jr. ‘11, and Dr. Antun Husinec published an article in the October issue of the Facies, a Springer journal. The paper, titled “Degrading windward patch reefs and processes influencing composition, mineralogy, and stable‑isotope record of peri‑reefal sediment, San Salvador Island, Bahamas”, focused on the dominant carbonate sediment producers, as well as the biological processes that influence production, deposition, and preservation of these reefs and the sediments surrounding them. The study shows that the San Salvador patch reefs have a higher abundance of fleshy seaweeds (algal turfs, upright green algae, brown algae) and lower cover of crustose red algae, which is typical for degrading reefs. Macroalgae have likely reached abundance beyond the grazing capacity of herbivores and consequently have drastically reduced space available for coral settlement and recruitment, and compromised the reef resilience. The paper is available at https://link.springer.com/journal/10347/65/4.

Peter Loree ’14 works as a geologist at the Horizon Well Logging/Excellence Logging, an oil and gas company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. John Murphy ’11 obtained his MSc in geology (carbonate sedimentology) at SUNY Binghamton in 2013, and now works for the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board in Rancho Cordova, California.