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SCIENCE

 

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.

 

DATA DRIVEN

RESTORATION SITE MONITORING     RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS     GENETIC DATABASE     INNOVATION

Cutting-edge research

MONITORING OUR IMPACT

Understanding the survivorship of our coral outplants and their impact on the ecosystem is of paramount importance.

We use traditional research methodologies as well as cutting-edge photomosaic techniques to get a better understanding of the spatial impact of our field work.

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Scientific partnerships

RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS

Our Science Program facilitates scientific collaborations with a wide range of researchers to answer questions that inform our work. 

 

Our Coral Tree Nurseries™, corals, and restoration sites provide scientists with a unique resource for research into coral reefs. 

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Preserving diversity

GENETIC DATABASE

We have been collecting and collating detailed genetic information on every coral that passes through our nurseries. 

We now manage the world's largest genetic ark and database of coral genotypes. 

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Research & development

DRIVING INNOVATION

We are constantly working on improving our techniques.

 

Our team is currently investigating novel outplanting methods to enable us to outplant corals more efficiently. 

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RESEARCH FOCUS

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.

CORAL NURSERIES

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.

OUTPLANTING METHODS

We are currently involved in research and development to allow us to move the overabundance of corals we are cultivating into the wild 
more efficiently. 

RESTORATION SITES

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.

GENETIC RESILIENCE

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.

ECOLOGY

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. 

PHOTOMOSAICS

Recent advances in imaging and image processing technology are now being applied to underwater data collection.

 

Using specialized computer software and basic underwater cameras, we are beginning to map reef sites throughout the Florida Keys into “photomosaics”.

 

These mosaics encompass several thousand square meters of reef area and can be used to compare the growth and health of outplanted corals over time, while also documenting changes to the reefscape.

 

Photomosaics can reduce the number of man-hours needed on-site, collect the same monitoring metrics collected by previous monitoring methods, and offer the potential for the collection of new information previously unobtainable underwater.

 

These improvements translate 
to demonstrable increases in the efficiency of CRF's™ data collection and breadth of scientific knowledge. 

 
 

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