University of Georgia
Room 305, Biological Sciences Bldg.
Athens, GA 30602
Office: (706) 542-3328
Fax: (706) 542-3344
Ph.D. - University of California, Santa Barbara
Our enduring objectives have been to understand fundamental aspects of symbiotic dinoflagellate (Symbiodinium) distribution, acquisition and functionality in their cnidarian (coral, jellyfish and anemone) hosts. We employ (and in many critical cases have substantially refined) molecular, genetic, biochemical and physiological techniques to resolve how genotypic and geographic differences influence the distribution, host-specificity, environmental specialization of these organisms. We also pursue how changing environmental factors correlate with recent onslaughts of bleaching and death in coral reefs.
Christian Wild, Robert van Woesik, Mebrahtu Ateweberhan, William K. Fitt, Florencia Colombo, Caroline Palmer, John C. Bythell, Malik Naumann, Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, Juan-Carlos Ortiz, Yossi Loya, and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (2011) Climate change impedes scleractinian corals as primary reef ecosystemengineers. Marine and Freshwater Research 62:205-215
Kemp, Dustin; Oakley, Clinton; Thornhill, Daniel; Newcomb, Laura; Schmidt, Gregory; Fitt, William (2011) Catastrophic Mortality on Inshore Coral Reefs of the Florida Keys Due to Severe Low-Temperature Stress. Global Change Biology doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02487.x
Thornhill DJ, Chilcoat GC, Iglesias-Prieto R, LaJeunesse TC, Kemp DW, McCabe Reynolds J, Rotjan RD, Schmidt GW, Shannon T, Todd BD, Warner ME, Fitt WK (2011) A connection between colony biomass and death in Caribbean reef-building corals. PLoSONE: 6(12): e29535
Fitt WK (2012) Why do corals grow in South Florida? In: Tropical Connections, eds Bill Kruczynski and Pamela Fletcher
Fitt, WK (2012) Bleaching of the fire corals Millipora. Proc Int Coral Reef Symp