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Scleractian Coral Biology

Research Scientist

Photo: D. Abigail RenegarD. Abigail Renegar, Ph.D.

"Understanding the impacts of environmental change and anthropogenic stressors on corals and coral reefs is essential to the preservation, protection and restoration of these vital ecosystems worldwide. Application of microscopic techniques is a fundamental component in the assessment of coral health and resilience, allowing evaluation of the effects of environmental change on coral tissue structure, composition and function. Corals grown in our land-based nursery play a key role in fulfilling these goals."

Research Focus

Research focuses on scleractinian coral biology, conservation, and restoration, with emphasis on experimental evaluation of the impacts of climate change, ocean acidification, and land-based sources of pollution on coral biology and ecology. Application of histological and ultrastructural analytical techniques to examine the influence of anthropogenic environmental factors on multiple aspects of coral physiology and health, providing key information for the prediction and management of future coral condition and growth. The land-based coral nursery provides scientists with multiple coral species for research and experimentation, and houses a genetically diverse living stock collection of corals for reef restoration.

Research Activities

  • Examination of the effects of environmental stress and change on the structure, composition, and function of coral tissues and cells.
  • Assessment of coral health, life history and reproductive status, prediction of coral spawning events.
  • Structure of coral reefs
  • Study of coral diseases and coral-microbial interactions.
  • Investigating the impacts of coastal pollution, climate change, ocean acidification, and other anthropogenic stressors on corals and coral reefs.
  • Propagation of multiple coral species for experimentation and restoration.
  • Transplantation of corals reared in land-based nursery to damaged reef areas.

Contact Information

D. Abigail Renegar, Ph.D.
COE Room #242
(954) 262-3644

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