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Coral reef persistence is dependent upon the balance between reef accretion and erosion. My work with UH Sea Grant investigates the infaunal organisms that mediate the breakdown of reef rubble to sand, a natural process termed bioerosion. This cryptic community of molluscs, polychaetes, sponges and crustaceans is being brought to light for the first time through a collaboration between the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, the Bishop Museum and others. The characterization of this community using both census and metagenetic techniques will allow researchers to better understand how reefs from Hawaiʻi Island to Kure will fare when challenged by continuing sea level rise.
2525 Correa Rd, HIG 238 Honolulu, HI 96822