Capstone Title

The Biology and Ecology of Shallow Tropical Western Atlantic Gorgonians

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology

Second Degree Name

M.S. Coastal Zone Management

First Advisor

David Gilliam

Second Advisor

Howard R. Lasker


This paper provides a brief overview of octocorals, and then focuses on specific gorgonian octocoral research topics conducted in the shallow tropicalWestern Atlantic. This literature review attempts to provide an informative discussion of gorgonian research by incorporating a great deal of work, emphasizing significant findings made in selected areas of gorgonian research. The goal of this paper is to provide the reader with an appreciation of the difficulties associated with octocoral research and a realization that octocorals are an integral, and too-often overlooked, part of coral reef ecosystems. This paper should be used as reference for future octocoral research, highlighting significant studies that have been made, as well as identifying topics that require more attention and study.

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