Through his Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, Dr. Baker plans to develop practical techniques for boosting the natural abundance of heat-tolerant algae inside reef corals. He will then apply these techniques in the field to thermally enhance corals and help them survive bleaching events. In addition, Dr. Baker plans to use these methods to help coral nurseries raise local stocks of heat-tolerant corals that can be used to re-seed reefs devastated by coral bleaching.
The Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation gives me the opportunity to build on the basic research I have been doing for the last few years, and develop these findings into a practical tool that might help us maximize the survival of reef corals over the next few decades, Dr. Baker said. We need to make every effort to ensure the short-term survival of the worlds reefs while we take the necessary steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will ultimately ensure their survival in the long-term, said Baker, who earned his PhD in Marine Biology and Fisheries from the University of Miami in 1999. We have to take urgent action in the policy, management and scientific arenas to stem the continuing decline of coral reefs. This Fellowship represents an effort to apply recent scientific discoveries to finding practical solutions in the real world. Its an ambitious project that will have its share of controversy because of the scale of the problem it is trying to address, but I hope that it will serve as an example of how scientists must attempt to do whatever it takes to avoid the collapse of these beautiful and important ecosystems.
|Contact: Kathryn Cervino|
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science