Baumann's research focuses on coral reef ecology, physiology and biogeochemistry. Specifically, Baumann studies how coral reef ecosystems are impacted by climate change and how some corals are better suited to survive such stressors than others. Overarching themes in Baumann's writings include impacts of global climate change on coral diversity, community structure, growth, and energetics. Baumann is a volunteer and writer with Citizens Climate Lobby, frequent guest speaker in classrooms in North Carolina and elsewhere, and an organizing team member of SciREN Triangle -- an outreach event that trains researchers in lesson plan writing and connects them with educators from around North Carolina.
In the News
Coral-associated algal symbionts (Symbiodinium) vary across environmental gradients for some but not all reef-building corals and dominant symbionts do not vary suggesting that the coral host is likely responsible for adaptation/acclimatization to stress in the study site (Belize).
Coral cover, diversity, and abundance is lower on nearshore, warmer, and more thermally variable reef environments than on offshore, cooler, and less thermally variable reef environments suggesting that as the climate continues to warm coral ecosystems will continue to break down.
Coral acquire most of their energy via photosynthetic symbionts when healthy but when bleached corals lose these symbionts suggesting a need to switch feeding modes. Most corals do not switch feeding modes when bleached but all corals in this study utilized autotrophic (from photosynthesis) and heterotrophic (from feeding) energy when building fat stores even when healthy demonstrating that coral feeding (heterotrophy) is an important source of energy in both healthy and bleached corals.