Super Coral: Getting Ahead of Climate Change

On a tiny piece of land in the middle of Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii a group of scientists is working hard to save coral reefs. It’s a multi-layered project using several approaches to train and modify coral so it can survive heat stress.

Listen to Wavelengths Episode 3 here.

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The laser scanning confocal microscope the Gates Coral Lab uses to look at living coral.

“It’s to make sure we have corals in the future” says Research Project Manager Kira Hughes.

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Rice coral release bundles of eggs and sperm during spawning. Image taken by Gates Coral Lab.

The project is led by Dr. Ruth Gates and gained momentum after Hawaii’s coral bleaching events in 2014 and 2015.

“The big question was why would on coral colony bleach when the one next to it doesn’t,” Hughes said. “So why is one coral colony more resilient than the other? So that’s kind of one of the big questions we’re investigating.”

compare rice coral to lace coral
Six month old rice coral compared to lace coral the same age.

Mahalo to the team at the Gates Coral Lab for taking the time to share your work with Wavelengths Ocean Podcast. We barely scratched the surface, you can learn more about their work on their website.

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