Coral Restoration Foundation™ is a science-centered organization, at the forefront of the world’s coral restoration community.
Research and innovation are at the heart of all we do, with data driving the evolution of our restoration techniques.
We work with individual researchers, as well as groups including the U.S. government agencies, universities, NGOs, and others.
Our methodologies develop as a result of rigorous research and data collection.
We work with leading researchers, universities, scientists, and other organizations to help answer questions that will advance our coral restoration goals.
We are also in a unique position to provide investigators with corals from our nurseries—as well as limited field support—for experimental work that aligns itself with our research priorities.
Decisions are based on a list of research priorities established by our Scientific Advisory Committee. These allow us to: focus how we spend limited research funding; determine which projects receive nursery-raised corals for experimental purposes; and assign staff and boats to support external projects.
Data we collect around our coral propagation methodologies for the nine species we work with helps us increase our efficiency and the number of nursery-raised corals that can be successfully outplanted.
We are currently involved in research and development to allow us to move the overabundance of corals we are cultivating into the wild
Ongoing research seeks to better understand why some sites exhibit
a higher survival rate for outplanted corals than others. Identifying increasingly suitable restoration sites is a research priority.
Our research tracks how different coral genotypes (and their associated microbes and symbionts) correlate with growth and condition, and the success of different outplant methodologies.
The monitoring of our outplanting sites demonstrates how ecology impacts restoration success. Specifically, we can assess how other organisms and reef topography affect the condition of outplanted corals.
DISEASE & BLEACHING
Projects that address coral disease or coral bleaching, that have direct application to coral restoration ecology, are considered high priority.
Our Science Advisory Committee ensures that the best available science is applied to our programs.
They also advise us on our restoration, research, and education strategies, and play a key role in identifying critical emerging science issues of concern to us.
Dr. Richard Dodge
Executive Director National Coral Reef Institute, NOVA University
Dr. Dodge has conducted coral reef research world-wide, and is an expert on the effects of natural and human-caused impacts to coral reefs.
Dr. Les Kaufman
Professor of Biology, Boston University
Dr. Kaufman is an expert in coral reef ecology, with a focus on community ecology and the degradation and regenerative processes that describe coral reef function.
Dr. Steven Miller
Chair of the CRF Science Committee
Dr. Miller maintains a long-term coral reef monitoring program in the Florida Keys, focusing on staghorn and elkhorn corals, benthic communities in general, and no-take management zones.
Dr. John Ogden
Emeritus Professor, University of South Florida
Dr. Ogden has studied coral reefs in Florida and throughout the Caribbean, with a commitment to translate scientific information into policy.
We work with leading researchers, universities, scientists, and other organizations to help answer the questions that will advance our coral restoration goals.
We are also in the unique position of being able to provide investigators with corals from our nurseries, as well as limited field support, for experimental work that aligns itself with our research priorities.
In the past year, we have worked to facilitate collaborations with these 11 research partners:
Iliana Baums was involved with spawning studies in 2017. Her lab has developed 2,294 highquality SNP loci that resolve genotypes, populations, and hybrid status of Caribbean Acroporids - helping inform selection of genetically diverse genotypes for nursery and outplanting. She is also working on chromosome-level sequencing and assembly of the Acropora palmata genome.
GRADUATE RESEARCH PROJECTS
Collaborations with graduate and post-graduate students are mutually beneficial partnerships; our infrastructure supports their research, and in turn Coral Restoration Foundation™ gains valuable data and insight.
Our current graduate research collaborations are listed below.
Contact us if you would like to work with Coral Restoration Foundation™ on a research project.
Translocation of A. cervicornis to coral nurseries of differing geographic regions in south Florida
Cody is currently earning his graduate degree from NSU in Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management. He is studying how coral fragments of staghorn coral grow in two geographically separated coral nurseries in southeast Florida. A reciprocal transport experiment was conducted using fragments from the NSU Coral Reef Restoration Assessment and Monitoring coral nursery located in Fort Lauderdale (Broward County) and CRF’s nursery in Tavernier (Monroe County). The primary objective of this on-going research is to determine if staghorn fragments derived from different geographic regions can survive at multiple locations on the reef tract. Measurements used in the experiment include growth rates and zooxanthellae densities (the single-celled algae that live inside coral tissues).