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3D Computational Modeling

We develop 3D computational models to characterize coral photosynthesis, light exposure and gas exchange. Currently, we are developing a range of optical models (3D Monte Carlo) and fluid flow and mass transfer models to characterize coral ecophysiology.

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Related Publications:

Wangpraseurt D, Sun Y, You S, Noel S, Hwuang H, Diaz J, Plummer S, Pernice M, Vignolini S, Tresguerres M, Chen S. Bioprinted Living Coral Microenvironments Mimicking Coral‐Algal Symbiosis. Advanced Functional Materials (2022): 2202273.38.

Kramer N, Guan J, Mumm K, Chen S, Wangpraseurt D*, Loya Y*. Morpho-functional traits of the coral Stylophora pistillata enhance light capture for photosynthesis at mesophotic depths (*shared senior author). Communications Biology 5, 861 (2022).

Wangpraseurt D*, You S, Azam F, Hildebrand M, Gaidarenko O, Jacucci G, Kuhl M, Smith AS, Davey MP, Deheyn DD, Chen S. Vignolini S. 2020 Bionic 3D printed corals Nature Communications 11, 1748

Wangpraseurt D*, Jacques SL, Petri T, and Kuhl M. 2016 Monte Carlo modeling of photon propagation reveals highly scattering coral tissue. Frontiers in Plant Science 7:1404.

3D Models of Light and Photosynthesis in Corals


The optical design of coral tissues and skeletons is used as starting point for structural design optimization. The design of a coral has evolved in response to certain set of environmental parameters over the course of millions of years. The design thus represents a highly optimized solution to a given environmental problem (e.g. light, nutrients, space competition). The structural variability between coral species is astonishing, and forms the basis for one the most diverse and species rich ecosystems on Earth. Individual coral species exhibiy strong phenotypic plasticity . For instance, a coral growing in shallow (e.g. less than 5m deep) waters can be highly convoluted while the same species growing at deeper water depths becomes entirely flat in order to maximize the surface light interception.

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