Coral reefs are significant ecosystems in the world’s oceans. They are threatened by anthropogenic effects that cause “bleaching.”
Research has identified fluoroproteins, which bio-fluoresce as early indicators of coral health. Fluorescence expression differs when stressed by temperature and light. This project will expand fluorescence research by investigating novel variables such as pH and salinity, nitrates, and phosphates.
Symbiodinium is an algae that lives within coral tissues. When stressed, they vacate, causing bleaching. This project also explores the theory that fluorescence is a visual cue to attract Symbiodinium.