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Rob Rowan

Associate Professor of Marine Biology

BSc College of Wooster
PhD University of Utah

Research Interests

Many coral-reef "animals" are actually obligate animal-algal symbioses literally part animal, part plant. Reef-building corals and giant clams are familiar examples. I study these symbioses from evolutionary, ecological, and physiological perspectives. Because the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) are not at all well-known, I am focusing on them, using molecular biological and physiological methods. This work includes systematics, descriptive and experimental ecology in natural populations, and studies of physiology and gene expression in the laboratory. The long-term goal is to understand how two very different kinds of organisms create, through symbiosis, the dominant members of coral reef communities, and how these organisms adapt to their variable environments.

Recent Publications

Rowan, R. 2004. Thermal adaptation in reef coral symbionts. Nature 430: 742.

Toller, W. W., R. Rowan, and N. Knowlton. 2002. Genetic evidence for a protozoan (phylum Apicomplexa) associated with corals of the Montastraea annularis species complex. Coral Reefs 21:143146

Toller, W. W., R. Rowan, and N. Knowlton. 2001. Re-population of zooxanthellae in the Caribbean corals Montastraea annularis and M. faveolata following experimental and disease-associated bleaching. Biological Bulletin 201:360373.

Rowan, R. 1998. Diversity and ecology of zooxanthellae on coral reefs. Journal of Phycology. 34: 407-417.

Rowan, R., N. Knowlton, A. Baker, & J. Jara.  1997.  Landscape ecology of algal symbionts creates variation in episodes of coral bleaching.  Nature 388:265268.

Rowan, R., S.M. Whitney, A. Fowler, & D. Yellowlees.  1996.  Rubisco in marine symbiotic dinoflagellates:  Form II enzymes in eukaryotic oxygenic phototrophs encoded by a nuclear multigene family.  The Plant Cell 8:539553.

Rowan, R., & N. Knowlton.  1995.  Intraspecific diversity and ecological zonation in coral-algal symbioses.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 92:2850–2853.


Dr. Robert Rowan
Associate Professor of Marine Biology
Marine Laboratory
University of Guam
Mangilao GU 96923 USA
Marine Lab., Room 110
Tel: 1 671 735 2189
Fax: 1 671 734 6767

Copyright 2005 University of Guam Marine Laboratory. All rights reserved.

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