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This profile was last updated on 2/9/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Charles E. Birkeland

Wrong Dr. Charles E. Birkeland?


Phone: (808) ***-****  
Local Address:  Kailua-Kona , Hawaii , United States
University of Hawaii
2444 Dole StreetBachman Hall 202
Honolulu , Hawaii 96822
United States

Company Description: The University of Hawaii at Manoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation,...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Ph.D. , Science
  • Ph.D
59 Total References
Web References
"We are pushing fisheries off the ..., 19 Feb 2002 [cached]
"We are pushing fisheries off the edge of viability, and species to the edge of extinction," said Charles Birkeland, a fisheries researcher at the University of Hawaii.
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"If you look at the geological ..., 21 Nov 2013 [cached]
"If you look at the geological record, those corals that disappeared were the dominant branching corals and those that survived were the ones that were rare that fit within the range of the others," Charles Birkeland, a biologist at University of Hawaii at Manoa and lead author of the paper, told "Because a coral is common or abundant does not make it necessarily safe."
Conditions over the last 10,000 years have been very good for coral growth, Birkeland said. But the very traits that allowed the fastest-growing species to thrive have left them with few defenses in the face of changing ocean chemistry, powerful waves during storms and other factors brought on by warming oceans.
He points to one genus of coral in particular, Acropora, whose features like thin tissue, porous skeletons and fast growth rates have caused them to be abundant in good conditions but vulnerable in times of change. Acropora had a large role in building reefs in the Caribbean.
"It seems kind of a radical thing to say, but most corals are selected [by evolution] for survival and Acropora is selected for rapid growth at the expense of survival," Birkeland said.
(MORE: Could Coral Reefs Go Extinct?)
The publication of the paper comes just after the closing of a public comments period on a 2009 petition brought by the Center for Biological Diversity asking the National Marine Fisheries Service to list 83 coral species as either threatened or engendered. A 2008 paper in Science that found that one-third of reef-building corals are under elevated extinction risk from both climate change and local human activities prompted the petition, Birkeland said. The Fisheries Service is currently considering placing 66 species on the Endangered Species Act listings, including 24 species of Acropora.
Birkeland was among a small group asked to evaluate the validity of the petition; after they completed their evaluation, they continued looking into the issue independently, which resulted in the new paper.
Right now, the process for deciding which species to list as endangered or threatened "is entirely focused on distribution and abundance," Birkeland said.
Defend Science, 17 Dec 2006 [cached]
Dr. Charles Birkeland, Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Dr. Charles Birkeland, Ph.D. - NOGI, 28 Sept 2014 [cached]
:: Dr. Charles Birkeland, Ph.D. - Science - 2007
Dr. Charles Birkeland, Ph.D. The science career of Charles Birkeland has always been underwater where he combined his ecological field experiments with natural history observations. His PhD thesis, begun in 1965, determined how sea pen populations were able to persist despite the intense combined predation pressure of seven species of predators. Also in the 1960s he discovered the life history dynamics of the invertebrates on Cobb Seamount, 400 miles off the coast of Washington state. The most abundant gastropod and starfish populations at a depth of 110 ft, the top of the seamount, were brooding species (so how could they get to the seamount so far from the coast?), and the gastropod was only found otherwise in the intertidal. Also in the 1960s, he spent a continuous three weeks underwater on Tektite II, determining the predatory behavior of molluscs on sea fans. Birkeland has been doing research on coral reef ecology and management since 1970 when he was a post-doc at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He was a professor at the University of Guam Marine
Laboratory from 1975 to 2000 and has been at the University of Hawaii since 2000. He has done much of his field work in American Samoa since 1979. The main focus of his research has been the factors that determine reef resilience or capacity for reef systems to recover. He has also been especially involved in determining how life history characteristics of species affect their role in the system, e.g., why the crown-of-thorns starfish has such an impact, and how the older individuals in populations of fishes can have disproportionate effects on the ecosystem and on the resilience of their own populations.
While in Panama he did the first experimental underwater field studies of coral recruitment and demonstrated the importance of nutrient input to the survival of coral recruits. These studies on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Panama led to an understanding of how nutrient input affected ecological processes on coral reefs on a large scale in different geographic regions of the world.
Birkeland also determined that nutrient input into the coral-reef ecosystem leads to crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks through fertilization of phytoplankton blooms that feed the starfish larvae. He coauthored a book on "Acanthaster planci: major management problem of coral reefs" and edited a textbook on "Life and death of coral reefs". He was the third president of the International Society for Reef Studies, organized the seventh International Coral Reef Symposium, and was recently presented an award for "Outstanding Scientific Advancement of Knowledge" by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and was elected Honorary Fellow of the Pacific Science Association.
People, 8 May 2015 [cached]
Charles E. Birkeland Adjunct Associate Professor
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