This past year has been quite exciting! Back in May I finished my very first, year-long bioerosion experiment. Here, we were looking at how bioerosion rates change across a natural environmental gradient with in a small reef. We found some really cool preliminary data suggesting that bioerosion rates could be correlated with pH. Once all the data is analyzed and written up I will post all the fun findings on this blog.
This has also been an exciting year for coral reef research in general because this past July was the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. This conference is held only once every four years and was attended by 2100 scientists, educators, and coral reef managers (click here to watch some inspiring talks from the conference)! Additionally, it was held in Australia–a country that I always wanted to visit. After this conference I was lucky to be able to dive on the Great Barrier Reef. This beautiful reef is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world and also one of the largest marine protected areas. Diving on this reef really showed me what reefs could look like with proper management. I have never seen so much health coral and fish in my life.
Lastly, I need to give a little shout out the the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program. This wonderful program encourages graduate students to work in National Marine Sanctuaries (Papahanaumokuakea is one of them!) and trains students to become better science communicators. To learn more about some exciting research being conducted in marine sanctuaries all over the country and to learn about other Foster Scholars click here.
Tomorrow is our first day of dive ops at French Frigate Shoals and I can’t wait to get in the water!
Stay tuned and thanks for reading.