Mote, Eckerd scientists receive climate change/ocean acidification research grant
Mote Marine Laboratory scientist Dr. Emily Hall and Eckerd College scientist Dr. Cory Krediet recently received a Protect Our Reefs license plate grant to study ocean acidification and climate change conditions on corals using a sea anemone as a model organism.
As many as 50 percent of the marine animals, plants and other organisms in Florida’s saltwater environment depend on coral reefs or derive some benefit from reefs during their life cycles. Sadly, in some areas of Florida and the Caribbean, coral cover has declined by 50-80 percent in just the last three decades due to natural occurrences and human impacts such as climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and more.
To help stem the losses, Mote created the Protect Our Reefs specialty license plate and Grants Program, which uses the dollars raised from license plate sales for scientific research to uncover the reasons for coral declines and more.
Hall and Krediet’s Protect Our Reefs grant funded project is focused on using a sea anemone, Aiptasia, as a model system to better understand what changing temperature and pH conditions can have on corals so scientists can be better equipped to conserve corals and protect them from environmental stressors such as bleaching, climate change and ocean acidification.