In July 2017 I joined the 100 Island Challenge expedition to the remote, SW islands of Palau. These sparsely populated and rarely visited islands provided us with an opportunity to study another group of oceanic islands in the western Pacific to compare with our findings from the Line Islands. We saw truly spectacular reefs that were a happy counterpoint to the news of death and destruction on the GBR and in the equatorial Pacific that permeated the media this past year. In addition to serving as a benthic ecologist on the large area imaging team, I conducted independent research to examine species-specific differences in coral trophic strategies across oceanographic gradients. I sampled five coral species from seven islands across 600 km in just 2 weeks. Looking forward to working with these data after I wrap up the PhD!
Check out more about the 100 island challenge and our effort to understand variation in coral reef ecosystem structure and functioning at a global scale here.