Steven V. Vollmer

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Hundreds of coral species coexist sympatrically on reefs, reproducing in mass-spawning events where hybridization appears common. In the Caribbean, DNA sequence data from all three sympatric Acropora corals show that mass spawning does not erode species barriers. Species A. cervicornis and A. palmata are distinct at two nuclear loci or share ancestral(More)
Coral reef conservation requires information about the distance over which healthy reefs can rescue damaged reefs through input of coral larvae. This information is desperately needed in the Caribbean where the 2 dominant shallow water corals Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata have suffered unprecedented declines. Here we compare the population(More)
The Caribbean corals, Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis, recently have undergone drastic declines primarily as a result of disease. Previous molecular studies have demonstrated that these species form a hybrid (A. prolifera) that varies in abundance throughout the range of the parental distribution. There is variable unidirectional introgression across(More)
Reef-building corals often possess high levels of intraindividual and intraspecific ribosomal DNA (rDNA) variation that is largely polyphyletic between closely related species. Polyphyletic rDNA phylogenies coupled with high intraindividual rDNA variation have been taken as evidence of introgressive hybridization in corals. Interpreting the data is(More)
Coral reefs in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) are among the most isolated in the world. This isolation has resulted in relatively low species diversity but comparatively high endemism. The dominant reef-building corals of the TEP are the Pocillopora corals, a ubiquitous Indo-Pacific genus commonly regarded as inferior reef-builder. In addition to being(More)
Social dominance is important for the reproductive success of males in many species. In the black-faced blenny (Tripterygion delaisi) during the reproductive season, some males change color and invest in nest making and defending a territory, whereas others do not change color and ‘sneak’ reproductions when females lay their eggs. Using RNAseq, we profiled(More)
Diseases affecting coral reefs have increased exponentially over the last three decades and contributed to their decline, particularly in the Caribbean. In most cases, the responsible pathogens have not been isolated, often due to the difficulty in isolating and culturing marine bacteria. White Band Disease (WBD) has caused unprecedented declines in the(More)
BACKGROUND Coral reefs in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) are amongst the most peripheral and geographically isolated in the world. This isolation has shaped the biology of TEP organisms and lead to the formation of numerous endemic species. For example, the coral Pocillopora damicornis is a minor reef-builder elsewhere in the Indo-West Pacific, but is(More)
North Atlantic rocky intertidal species have been shaped by repeated glaciations and strong latitudinal temperature gradients, making them an excellent system to study postglacial phylogeography and thermal tolerance. Population genetics data from northwestern Atlantic species, however, often show patterns inconsistent with the prediction that high(More)
A key tool in evolutionary ecology is information about the temporal dynamics of species over time. Paleontology has long been the major source of this information, however, a very different source of temporal data resides in the variation of genes within and between species. These data provide an independent way to date species divergence but can also(More)