University of Miami Faculty, Students Head Down Under for ‘Olympics’ of Coral Reefs

ICRS 2012 PhD candidate Rachel Silverstein practices her ICRS presentation with fellow ICRS participants Remy Okazaki, Stephanie Schopmeyer and Xaymara Serrano.

CAIRNS, Australia — Scientists who study all aspects of coral reefs are flocking to Cairns, Australia this summer to participate in the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS), July 9 – 13. The conference, which like the Olympics takes place every four years, is the world’s largest forum for the dissemination and discussion of coral reef science, management and conservation. A delegation of more than 25 investigators from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science will be among the speakers and attendees of this year’s symposium.

This five-day event will bring together people from some 80 countries, to communicate their science and hear the latest advances from the international experts in coral reef science. Their research and findings are fundamental in informing international and national policies and protocols in the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs.

The previous International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, co-hosted by UM and NSU had an attendance of more than 3,000 scientists.  This year’s event is being hosted by James Cook University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

The ICRS is sanctioned by the International Society for Reef Studies, and provides the international science community with a platform to:

  • Increase global knowledge and interest in coral reefs, including sustainable use and conservation strategies;
  • Showcase successful science, conservation and management efforts;
  • Develop collaborations and partnerships to increase international capacity to address coral reef issues; and
  • Increase global awareness of reef degradation and possible solutions by extensive promotion in the media.

Among the UM representatives attending the ICRS are: Faculty members Andrew Baker, Chris Langdon, Diego Lirman and John McManus, along with students and researchers Sean Bignami, Roxanne Boonstra, Ross Cunning, Quinn Devlin, Ian Enochs, Brooke Ginert, Lew Gramer, Dan Holstein, Brittany Huntington, Phil Kushlan, Lisa McManus, Remy Okazaki, Stephanie Schopmeyer, Xaymara Serrano, Rachel Silverstein, Erica Towle, Noelle Van Ee, Alyson Venti and Rivah Winter.

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University’s mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. Founded in the 1940’s, the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

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