Coral reefs

Aerial view of reefs off a sandy beach with superimposed graphics illustrating locations of pens and their layout

Working towards sustainability of Hawaiʻi’s nearshore fisheries through characterizing and modeling fisheries regulation effects

 Research Projects 2022-2024 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Elizabeth Madin Co-INVESTIGATORS: Kirsten Oleson, Lisa McManus, Zack Rago, Annie Innes-Gold Research Track: Interdisciplinary Nearshore fisheries provide extremely important services for coastal communities. However, nearly 25 percent of these fisheries, globally, have collapsed from widespread ...
Underwater photo with coral clusters growing in ranks upon tables set up on the sandy bay floor, with a scuba diver inspecting them

Next generation husbandry for resilient coral reef restoration in Hawaiʻi

 Research Projects 2022-2024 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Crawford Drury Research Track: Aquaculture Coral reefs are important ecosystems that support marine diversity, but they are threatened by multiple stressors, including climate change. Among these stressors, increasing temperatures are particularly dangerous and lead to ...
A closed giant clam shell, with royal blue insides just showing, sits on a coral reef

Genetic assessment of giant clam stocks in American Samoa

 Research Projects 2022-2024 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Robert Toonen PI-CASC Graduate Scholar: Paolo Marra-Biggs Giant clams (Genus Tridacna) are keystone species, benefitting species of all ecological levels, and have among the highest rates of photosynthesis of any species on coral reefs. However global ...
Close-up image of a vibrant invertebrate (nudibranch) atop coral

Environmental DNA: Ground-truthing a new tool for coral reef monitoring

 Research Projects 2022-2024 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Peter Marko Sea Grant Graduate Fellow: Patrick Nichols Given the rapid pace of climate change, successful conservation relies on frequent, fast, and reliable monitoring of at-risk organisms and habitats. Most coral reef monitoring relies on time-consuming ...
A colorful assortment of corals on display in an aquarium

Designing mesocosms

By Zack RagoWe generally think of ecology as the study of interactions between organisms and their environment. This can be easier said than done. Ecosystems are unimaginably complicated at every scale, from the microscopic world to patterns so large they ...
From Loss to Recovery to Resilience

From Loss to Recovery to Resilience

by Lurline Wailana McGregorIn 2018, Hurricane Walaka circumvented the Hawaiian Islands before circling back to pass directly over Kānemilohaʻi, also known as the French Frigate Shoals, an atoll 550 miles northwest of Honolulu. It washed away East Island, an 11-acre ...
The Ocean is Feeling the Heat

The Ocean is Feeling the Heat

by Lonny LippsettA fever is rising in the ocean. Our rampant burning of fossil fuels has produced a heat-trapping blanket of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere that has warmed the Earth. But the situation would be much worse without ...
Thumbnail image of yellow buoy floating in blue Hawaiian waters

Carbon dioxide measurements on the Oʻahu Coast

by Lucie Knor Aloha! My name is Lucie Knor and I am part of the longest-running time series project on carbon dioxide (CO2) in the coastal ocean. It is located right here in Hawaiʻi. There are currently four buoys installed ...
Google Earth image showing small round brown reefs with brighter rings around them

What can seascape-scale vegetation patterns on coral reefs tell us about reef health?

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Elizabeth Madin Graduate Fellow: Zackery Rago Coral reefs worldwide are threatened by a variety of human impacts. Fishing is among the most pressing threats to reefs, because it occurs on most reef systems and alters the ...
A school of fish swim over a reef

Land-based pollutants on Hawaiian reefs

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Megan Donahue Co-INVESTIGATORS: Kim Falinski Graduate Fellow: Honour Booth This research will examine land-based pollutants, such as metals and persistent organic pollutants (e.g., PCBs), in coastal ecosystems in Hawaiʻi. Ongoing habitat degradation and coastal development, along with ...