BioCity Guest Seminar: Coral reefs – why they are vanishing and the photosynthesis connection


March 2, 2018    
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm


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Prof. Tony Larkum, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Host: Eva-Mari Aro (

Coffee/tea and sandwhich is served at 11:45


Early work of Prof. Larkum was concerned with the processes of ion uptake in roots and giant algal cells. However, his interest in sub-aquatic physiology led increasingly to programs involving algae and seagrasses. More recently, much of Prof. Larkum’s research effort in this area has been devoted to photoinhibition and UV inhibition of algae and corals including algae in coral reefs and coral bleaching mechanisms and since 1997 his major work has been devoted to understanding the phenomenon of mass coral bleaching, which has been linked to increase in surface sea temperatures and thus to global warming. In addition Prof. Larkum has been interested in novel cyanobacteria, such as Acaryochloris, which have novel chlorophylls capable of absorbing near infra-red light. A further interest has been the choice and use of microalgae for biofuel research

Selected publications

Larkum, A.W.D., Davey, P.A., Kuo, J., Ralph, P.J. & Raven, J.A. 2017, ‘Carbon-concentrating mechanisms in seagrasses.’, Journal of experimental botany, vol. 68, no. 14, pp. 3773-3784

Najafpour, M.M., Heidari, S., Balaghi, S.E., Hołyńska, M., Sadr, M.H., Soltani, B., Khatamian, M., Larkum, A.W. & Allakhverdiev, S.I. 2017, ‘Proposed mechanisms for water oxidation by Photosystem II and nanosized manganese oxides.’, Biochimica et biophysica acta, vol. 1858, no. 2, pp. 156-174

Gleason, F.H., Gadd, G.M., Pitt, J.I. & Larkum, A.W.D. 2017, ‘The roles of endolithic fungi in bioerosion and disease in marine ecosystems. II. Potential facultatively parasitic anamorphic ascomycetes can cause disease in corals and molluscs’, Mycology, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 216-227

Szabó, M., Larkum, A.W.D., Suggett, D.J., Vass, I., Sass, L., Osmond, B., Zavafer, A., Ralph, P.J. & Chow, W.S. 2017, ‘Non-intrusive assessment of photosystem II and photosystem I in whole coral tissues’, Frontiers in Marine Science, vol. 4, no. AUG

Schrameyer, V., Krämer, W., Hill, R., Jeans, J., Larkum, A.W.D., Bischof, K., Campbell, D.A. & Ralph, P.J. 2016, ‘Under high light stress two Indo-Pacific coral species display differential photodamage and photorepair dynamics’, Marine Biology, vol. 163, no. 8