#SciFund Returns – Muddy waters: coral health after storm events

#SciFund, a month long initiative to raise funds for a variety of scientific research projects, is once again upon us. Project leaders post a project description and an appeal for funds, and members of the public are invited to make small donations to projects that they deem worthy. Donations come with rewards such as access to project logs, images from fieldwork, your name in the acknowledgements of publications, among other possibilities. Many of these projects are marine or conservation themed. Once again, we’re highlighting some of our favorite marine science proposals. Please take a look at these projects and, should you so desire, send some financial support their way. If you do make a donation, let them know how you found out about their project and leave a comment (anonymous if you’d like) on this post letting us know.

Muddy waters: coral health after storm events

I am interested in how coral health might be impacted by poor water quality after short storm events. I will be looking at two bays on St. John, USVI. One bay is in the national park and has no upland development and the other bay has a lot of upland development (roads, houses, etc.) After storm events, I will be taking water samples to assess water quality and will also be assessing coral health. I will be looking primarily at Porites astreoides, a common Caribbean coral.  I will be transplanting adult and juvenile P. astreoides corals into each bay and look at their health after each storm event. Looking at juvenile corals is really important because studies show they are more vulnerable to poor water quality and they are the next generation of coral reefs. I will also look at some corals that naturally occur in each bay, to see if corals exposed to poor water quality in the past respond differently to storm events.



Brittney Honisch is a graduate students investigating how water quality affects coral health. Her research feeds directly into establishing water quality standards for protecting coral health in the Caribbean. As you probably know, we value baseline assessments and standardized methodology for conservation and managementHead on over to Brittney’s project page and send some rocket fuel her way!