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Jamie Craggs

Biography

Jamie Craggs is currently the Aquarium Curator at the Horniman Museum & Gardens, London, UK. In addition, he is a Science Associate at the Natural History Museum, London and in 2016 was elected a fellow of the Linnean Society of London, the world’s oldest active biological society. 

Previously Jamie worked as the Head Aquarist at the London Aquarium during which time he developed his interest in coral biology. Jamie has also worked as an underwater cameraman based in Borneo, filming and photographing the amazing array of species that are found on the coral reefs in the Celebes seas. Since arriving at the Horniman in 2008 he has been improving the working practices, animal welfare standards, and captive breeding programs within the aquarium.

His main research interest is the reproductive biology of reef-building corals and in 2012 he founded PROJECT CORAL, a multi-year research project focused on developing techniques to predictably induce broadcast coral spawning events in closed system aquariums. To date, within the museums closed circuit research systems, gamete (egg and sperm) development has been induced in 17 Acropora species and in-vitro fertilisation capacity developed to produce genetically diverse coral in captivity.

Through developing a deeper understanding of broadcast spawning events in captivity Project Coral aims to support climate change research focusing on reproduction, reef restoration efforts and develop new sustainable coral aquaculture techniques. 

Alongside his other roles, Jamie is a PhD student with the University of Derby focusing on the topic Project Coral.

Current steering committees

  • Coral Restoration Consortium - Land Based Nurseries Working Group. Sept 2017 to date.

Previous committee roles

  • Reef Conservation UK an annual conference to promote multidisciplinary conservation, public awareness and education about coral reefs. 2014 – 2015
  • British & Irish Association of Zoo & Aquariums (BIAZA) – Aquarium working group (AWG). The BIAZA AWG coordinates captive based research on a variety of disciplines. 2009 - 2014
  • Coral Aquarist Research Network (CARN), a network that was funded by the National Environmental Research Council. His role on this committee was to facilitate knowledge exchange between the research community and industry specialists and provide public outreach opportunities. 2009-2012

Conference presentations and media coverage

2017

  • Project Coral: Spawning success - Nature Live, Natural History Museum, London
  • Project Coral - Developing protocols for predictable broadcast coral spawning in captivity – Reef Builders Reef Stock X, Denver, Colorado
  • Cnidarian Reproductive Biology & Research – undergraduate lecture/practical: University of Derby (2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017)

2016

  • Project Coral - Developing protocols for predictable broadcast coral spawning in captivity – Reef Conservation UK – ZSL, London
  • Project Coral - Developing protocols for predictable broadcast coral spawning in captivity – 9th International Aquarium Congress – Vancouver, Canada
  • Project Coral - Developing protocols for predictable broadcast coral spawning in captivity – 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Developing protocols for predictable broadcast coral spawning in captivity – Smithsonian - Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Oahu, Hawaii
  • Project Coral – Keynote speaker 13th annual Marine Biological Association Postgraduate conference, University of Portsmouth, UK
  • The Times - IVF hope for coral as species reproduced
  • New Scientist - Playing Cupid to get reluctant corals in the mood for love

2015

  • Project Coral: Linnean Society of London, Natural History Museum.
  • Coral Reefs, Secret cities of the Sea, Natural History Museum.

2014

  • Intentionally spawning stony corals in the aquarium: Marine Aquarium Conference of North America, Denver.

  • Project Coral - Captive broadcast coral reproductive research: Natural History Museum SciFri, Dalefort Field station, UK Marine Breeders Club & SECORE Workshop Guam
  • Brooding corals - Ex-situ care: SECORE Workshop Guam
  • Rainforest of the Sea: Hastings Museum & Art Gallery
  • Climate-change adaption - Designer reefs: Nature podcast - International Weekly Journal of science.
  • The Future of Corals: Radio 4 Shared Planet.

2013

  • Inducing broadcast coral spawning in captivity – investigating the effects of climate change on coral fecundity: National Aquarium Conference, Bristol Zoo.
  • Craggs J & J. Charles Delbeek J C - SECORE Foundation's Coral Spawning Efforts Move East (poster): National Aquarium Conference, Bristol Zoo.
  • The discovery of a new asynchronous broadcast spawning location in South East London: Reef Conservation UK ZSL.

2012

  • Redeveloping a Fijian Reef display - tracking the changes over the past year: National Aquarium Conference, Blue Planet Aquarium.
  • Breeding Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Metasepia pfefferi: National Aquarium Conference, Blue Planet Aquarium.
  • Using marine microprocessor technologies and environmental sensors to investigate environmental spawning cues of scleractinian corals in captivity: Reef Conservation UK ZSL.
  • An investigation of White Syndrome in Aquarium Corals (Poster) J, Craggs & M, Sweet: International Aquarium Congress, Capetown, South Africa
  • Advanced coral disease research; a modern collaborative approach: CARN conference, ZSL London

2011

  • Advanced coral disease research; a modern collaborative approach: National Aquarium Conference, Living Coast, Torquay
  • Touring Exhibitions in Texas: National Aquarium Conference, Living Coast, Torquay
  • Sexual Reproduction of Corals - Research at the Horniman Museum: Coral Aquarist Research Network – West London Reef Club, Horniman Museum.

2010

  • Sexual reproduction of Scyphozoan - a more robust approach to culturing: National Aquarium Workshop, Blue Reef Aquarium.
  • Cultivation Mangroves - Notes on captive maintenance and care: British & Irish Association of Zoos & Aquariums, Zoological Society London.
  • An overview of the 5th SECORE workshop, Saint John’s Island Singapore: Coral Aquarist Research Network conference, Royal Geographical Society

2009

  • Ex-situ Sexual Reproduction of Corals at the Horniman Museum: Reef Conservation UK, Zoological Society London.
  • From failing reef display to spawning corals in 18 months, with some hard lessons learnt along the way (poster): National Aquarium Workshop, Horniman Museum.

Publications

  • Craggs J, Guest JR, Davis M, Simmons J, Dashti E, Sweet M. Inducing broadcast coral spawning ex situ: Closed system mesocosm design and husbandry protocol. Ecol Evol. 2017;00:1–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3538
  • Craggs, J.R.K, Guest, J.R., Davis, M., Brett, A., & Sweet, M. (2017) Maintaining spawning timing in Acropora corals following long distance inter-continental transportation. In review
  • Smith D, Leary P, Craggs J, Bythell J & Sweet M (2015) Microbial Communities Associated with Healthy and White Syndrome-Affected Echinopora lamellosa in Aquaria and Experimental Treatment with the Antibiotic Ampicillin: Journal.pone.0121780
  • Craggs J. (2014) PROJECT CORAL Inducing predictable broadcast spawning of stony corals in captivity: CORAL magazine 
  • Craggs J. (2014) Can we induce Acropora to broadcast spawn in captivity? A review of the coral spawning project at the Horniman Museum and Gardens - Part 1 & Part 2: UltraMarine magazine
  • Craggs J & Delbeek C. (2014) Catching the Spawn: New SECORE initiative for restoring Pacific coral reefs: CORAL magazine
  • Sweet M, Craggs J, Robson J & Bythell JC (2013) Assessment of the microbial communities associated with white syndrome and brown jelly syndrome in aquarium corals: Journal of Zoo & Aquarium Research Vol 1 No 1
  • Sweet M, Smith D, Bythell JC & Craggs J (2013) Changes in microbial diversity associated with two coral species recovering from a stressed state in a public aquarium system: Journal of Zoo & Aquarium Research. Vol 1 No 2
  • FitzGeorge-Balfour, Tania, Lucas, Cathy H., Craggs, Jamie, Mombrikotb, Shorok and Hirst, Andrew G. (2011) ‘A critical comparison of the methods used to estimate digestion rates in gelatinous zooplankton’ Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • FitzGeorge-Balfour, Tania, Lucas, Cathy H., Craggs, Jamie and Hirst, Andrew G. (2011) ‘Vulnerability of copepods to predation by the scyphomedusa Aurelia aurita – the influence of prey size and behaviour’ Marine Ecology Progress Series
  • FitzGeorge-Balfour, Tania, Lucas, Cathy H., Craggs, Jamie and Hirst, Andrew G. (2011) ‘Digesting the errors associated with gut-content analysis in gelatinous zooplankton. A review of the methodology used to estimate digestion times, defining best-practices’. 5th International Zooplankton Production Symposium, Pucon, Chile.
  • FitzGeorge-Balfour, Tania, Lucas, Cathy H., Craggs, Jamie and Hirst, Andrew G. (2011) ‘The influence of prey size, sex and behaviour on predation by the scyphomedusa /Aurelia aurita’. 5th International Zooplankton Production Symposium, Pucon, Chile.
  • Erftemeijer, Paul L.A., Hagedorn, Mary, Laterveer, Michael, Craggs, Jamie and Guest, James R. (2011) ‘Effect of suspended sediment on fertilisation success in the Sceleractinian coral Pectinia lactuca’. Journal of the Marine Biological Association
  • FitzGeorge-Balfour, Tania, Lucas, Cathy H., Craggs, Jamie and Hirst, Andrew G. (2010) Poster: ‘How do we know what jellyfish eat? Examining problems with the gut content method’ 
  • FitzGeorge-Balfour, Tania, Craggs, Jamie and Hirst, Andrew G. (2010) Poster: ‘The Jellyfish Banquet. Examining differences in the susceptibility of copepods to capture by Aurelia aurita’
  • Arvedlund M & Craggs J (2001) Coral Culture – Possible Future Trends and Directions. Marine Ornamental Species: Collection, Culture and Conservation / Iowa State Press.