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Coral Cruise Micronesia 2012

As a participant in a comprehensive study led by Konrad Hughen of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, my primary responsibility during the month-long cruise was to identify and record hard and soft coral colonies by genus and size class. Islands and atolls where surveys took place included Yap, Woleai, Olimarao (uninhabited), Kosrae, Kapingamarangi, Nakuoro (uninhabited), and Pohnpei. Other data gathered by my team included coral reef disease assessment. These data will be used to form a baseline understanding of the health of the Micronesian reefs. More info.

Coral Cruise Micronesia 2012 Coral Cruise Micronesia 2012 Coral Cruise Micronesia 2012 Coral Cruise Micronesia 2012

Master's Thesis Research: Investigation into Responses of Two Phenotypes of the Scleractinian Coral, Montastraea faveolata, to Putative Marine Vibrio Pathogens

This research was designed to determine whether a colony’s vulnerability to infection is a function of differences in colony physiology. It was comprised of four components:

1. Field Component - Mote Marine Laboratory, Summerland Key, FL - April 2010

Fragments from two phenotypes of Montastraea faveolata were exposed to various combinations of Vibrio spp. pathogens in aquaria at two temperatures and monitored.

Raceway Coral Coral Coral
Experiment Experiment Experiment

2. Histology Component - Laboratory of Dr. Esther Peters, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA - 2011

Fragments fixed in zinc-formalin solution were decalcified, trimmed, processed, embedded in paraffin wax, sectioned on the microtome, placed on slides and stained with H&E and Cason’s Trichrome.

Histology Histology Histology Histology Histology
Histology Histology Histology Histology Histology

3. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) - Laboratory of Dr. Gordon T. Taylor, SoMAS, Stony Brook, NY - 2012

FISH probe to identify Vibrio spp. was used to determine presence of Vibrios in coral tissue.

4. Microscopy and Analysis - SoMAS, Stony Brook, NY - 2011

Slides analyzed for differences in tissue and cellular responses to the exposure treatments. Semi-quantitative method used to score 33 criteria corresponding to indices of health per section/slide. Treatments compared to controls and fragments obtained from the Looe Key, FL with yellow band disease. Laser confocal scanning microscope used for FISH slides.

Coral Yellow Band Disease monitoring project – Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles - 2007 to present

Annual visits to Karpata dive site to monitor prevalence of Yellow Band Disease via transect counts and video transects using SCUBA.

Monitoring Karpata Monitoring Karpata Monitoring Karpata Monitoring Karpata