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Mace & Crown | December 11, 2017

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Barshi Lab Biologist Discusses Coral Reef Sustainability

Barshi Lab Biologist Discusses Coral Reef Sustainability
Ben Maxie
Staff Writer

I sat down with Harmony Hancock, a coral biologist in the Barshis Lab at Old Dominion University. Many populations rely on reefs for tourism income and food, and an estimated one-third of marine species depend on reefs. Coral reefs are dying in huge patches all around the world, which is caused largely by climate change and warming water. This could have huge consequences for marine ecosystems, humans the susceptibility of tropical areas to large storms. Hancock studies the genetics and optical physics of why some coral seem resistant to so-called bleaching and recently returned from running experiments in American Samoa.

coral reef sustainabilityIn the episode, we talk about what she did in American Samoa. She explains her experiment, and shares stories from the months that she spent in the tropics. For instance, while Hancock was doing experiments on an island called Ofu, a cyclone hit. We also talked about the projections for coral and reefs worldwide and coral restoration efforts in already devastated areas. Toward the end of the video, Hancock shares stories of traveling in off-the-beaten-path areas of the tropical pacific.