The Red Sea Reef Foundation (RSRF) has awarded research grants to five scientists from Israel and Jordan who are studying corals in one of the world’s largest marine refuges from climate change. Each selected project involves an innovative approach, such as using deep neural networks to derive data on coral reef fish populations, characterizing corals’ changing microbiome, and developing coral bioindicators of heavy metal pollution in seawater and of coral resilience to stress from rising ocean temperatures.
Four of the selected projects could be applied to monitor the health of reefs in new ways, while a fifth aims to refine techniques for farming corals both in the Red Sea and beyond.
This type of work is key to conservation of coral reef ecosystems. With 90% of the world’s coral reefs expected to be severely degraded by midcentury due to warming ocean temperatures, the study and conservation of the thermally resilient reefs in the northern Red Sea are a global imperative. These reefs may be among the last to survive the century, as they can thrive even if their environment warms by several degrees centigrade.
To learn more, visit redseareef.org