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Conserving Coiba’s Coral

Posted on May 24, 2018 by in The OFI Blog |

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) recently opened a new marine lab located on the island of Coiba off the western coast of Panama. It is situated in the middle of the the Eastern Pacific, one of the most unexplored regions in the world, so this has placed it in a unique position to make great advancements in scientific knowledge of Eastern Pacific marine ecosystems.

Will Wied and Matthieu Leray surveying fish.

Four Smithsonian postdoctoral fellows, Dr. Matthieu Leray (interviewed in the video above), Dr. Maggie Johnson, Dr. Jarrod Scott, and Dr. Holly Sweat, recently took the opportunity to do extensive research into the relatively undisturbed coral reefs around the island. These reefs are unique in that their little exposure to human interference has kept them in a much more pristine condition than other reefs around the world. Their work has allowed them to catch a glimpse into how these underwater communities operate without human interference, as well as document the current conditions of the reefs to create a baseline which will be used in research for decades to come.

Click here to learn more about their work in the article put out by TRóPICOS.