Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Benjamin Neal is the lead author on a new paper published in the journal Oecologia. In the paper, “Possible control of acute outbreaks of a marine fungal pathogen by nominally herbivorous tropical reef fish,” the authors identify a new trophic link: the consumption of fungus by herbivorous fish, which may help to reduce disease in coral reef ecosystems. “Thus, in addition to their well-known role as determinants of macroalgal overgrowth of reefs, herbivorous fish could thus also be important in control of diseases affecting crustose coralline algae that stabilize the foundation of coral reef substrate,” according to the paper’s abstract.