Welcome to the Aquatic Chemical Ecology Center at Georgia Tech
As humans we are poorly equipped to understand the omnipresent and critical importance of chemical signaling in affecting biotic interactions in the ocean and elsewhere. Most organisms lack eyes and ears and so decide whether to mate with, eat, escape from, or defend against the organism next to them based on chemical cues. These chemical cues constitute the language in which many of the “instructions” for biotic interactions are written.
At Georgia Tech we have organized a diverse group of ecologists, chemists, sensory biologists, engineers, and quantitative modelers, to focus on translating this language from chemistry into ecology and to use this deeper understanding as a window into (i) the processes that have selected for critical sensory abilities, (ii) understanding how these chemical cues change organism behavior, (iii) how these behaviors affect populations, (iv) how a mechanistic-level understanding of these behavioral cues can be scaled-up to better understand the structure and function of communities and ecosystems, and (v) how this understanding can be used to better inform the wise conservation and restoration of marine and aquatic systems.
Professor Mark Hay, Teasley Chair in Environmental Biology and Co-Director of the Aquatic Chemical Ecology Center at Georgia Tech, has been selected as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Cody Award in Ocean Sciences from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Professor Hay will give two public(free) lectures at Scripps on Jun 14th & 15th.
The Teasley 2012 Symposium "Seaweed-Coral Interactions and the Structure and Function of Coral Reefs" was held on April 15, 2012. The symposium included some of the world’s leading marine biologists and coral reef ecologists presenting research and discussing topics related to coral-seaweed interactions and the structure and function of coral reefs. You can watch their presentations on the School of Biology's YouTube channel
Doug Rasher, Ph.D. student in Biology, is the first recipient of the Teasley Pre-Doctoral Fellowship in Aquatic Chemical Ecology. This award is equivalent to the GIT Presidential Fellowship but is awarded for demonstrated research productivity rather than promise. Congratulations Doug!!
A group of chemical compounds used by a species of tropical seaweed to ward off fungus attacks may have promising anti-malarial properties for humans. The compounds are part of a unique chemical signaling system that seaweeds use to battle enemies -- and that may provide a wealth of potential new pharmaceutical compounds...
Mark Hay checked his scuba gear one last time, then stepped off a boat and dived toward the seafloor. His destination was Aquarius, the only manned underwater lab in operation in the world. The metal structure—about the size of a school bus—is anchored 60 feet beneath the surface near a flourishing coral reef a few miles off Key Largo...