Sarah W. Davies

 



 


Vestibulum volutpat. Nisl rhoncus turpis est, vel elit, congue wisi enim nunc ultricies sit, tincidunt. Maecenas aliquam maecenas ligula nostra, accumsan taciti. Sociis mauris in integer, a dolor netus non dui aliquet. Eget habitasse elementum.


Ipsum purus pede porttitor class, ut adipiscing, aliquet sed auctor, imperdiet arcu per diam dapibus libero duis. Enim eros in vel, volutpat nec pellentesque leo, scelerisque nec.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ligula suspendisse nulla pretium, rhoncus tempor placerat fermentum, enim integer ad vestibulum volutpat. Nisl rhoncus turpis est, vel elit, congue wisi enim nunc ultricies sit, tincidunt. Maecenas aliquam maecenas ligula nostra, accumsan taciti. Sociis mauris in integer, a dolor netus non dui aliquet. Eget habitasse elementum.

 



Education

B.Sc. University of Victoria, Canada 2004

M.Sc. University of Calgary, Canada 2009

Ph.D. In progress at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S.A.

Expected Completion: May 2014

Understanding factors that influence species ranges and the species’ potential for dispersal to new habitats is becoming increasingly important as the effects of climate change on species distributions are documented worldwide. The ability of a species to disperse determines its potential to escape adverse conditions, re-colonize disturbed habitats, colonize novel habitats through poleward range shifts, and spread potentially advantageous alleles.  My dissertation work in the Matz lab addresses this issue for reef-building corals, focusing on patterns of genetic exchange and evolution of larval dispersal characteristics, since coral reefs worldwide are in a state of unprecedented decline. I use genetic methods to study dispersal patterns between reefs in the Micronesian Pacific and the Caribbean, helping to inform management of several threatened coral species. I am also interested in the recently documented coral range expansion in response to climate change. Range shifts to cooler latitudes may be a mechanism for corals to respond to increased seawater temperatures and these poleward shifts are expected to be accompanied by selection for dispersal-enhancing gene variants. I am examining the natural genetic variation in larval traits that may be targets of such selection, and use genomics approaches to identify molecular mechanisms and genetic loci responsible for this variation. Estimating the evolutionary potential of coral dispersal characteristics will greatly help predict the fate of coral reefs as climate change continues.

Email:         daviessw[at]gmail.com

Address:    University of Texas at Austin, Department of Integrative Biology

                   1 University Station, C0990, Austin, TX 78712

Research Interests

Davies SW, Meyer E, Guermond S and MV Matz (2013) Coral species differ in settlement cue preferences but do not show consistent ocean-wide trends. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.  Submitted RSPB-2013-1670.


Davies SW, Matz MV and PD Vize (2013) Ecological complexity of coral recruitment processes: Effect of herbivores on coral recruitment and growth depends upon substrate properties and coral species. In Press PLoS ONE. PONE-D-13-0888


Kenkel C, Goodbody-Gringley G, Caillaud D, Davies SW, Bartels E and MV Matz (2013) Evidence for a host role in thermotolerance divergence between populations of the mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides) from different reef environments. Accepted Molecular Ecology. MEC-13-0171


Davies SW, Rahman M, Meyer E, Green EA, Buschizzo M, Medina, M and MV Matz (2013) Novel polymorphic microsatellite loci for the endangered Caribbean star coral, Montastrea faveolata. Marine Biodiversity. 43:2 167-172.


Meyer E, Davies SW, Wang S, Willis BL, Abrego D, Juenger T and MV Matz (2009) Genetic variation in responses to settlement cue and elevated temperature in a reef-building coral Acropora millepora. Marine Ecology Progress Series (MEPS) 392:81-92.


Davies SW and PD Vize (2008) Effects of herbivore grazing on juvenile coral growth in the Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. 23: 1220-1222.


Vize PD, Hilton JD, Brady AK and SW Davies (2008) Light sensing and the coordination of coral broadcast spawning behavior. Proceedings of the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium. 11:385-388.


Davies SW, Griffiths A and TE Reimchen (2006) Pacific Hagfish, Eptatretus stoutii, Spotted Ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei, and scavenger activity on tethered carrion in subtidal benthic communities off Western Vancouver Island. Canadian Field-Naturalist 120(3): 363–366.

Extracurricular Activities

Traveling, Hiking, Halloween, Tailgating, Soccer (Football), Watching American Football

Publications