Coral reefs are vitally important to the global ecosystem and human society. They provide shoreline protection, cultivate biodiversity, and harbor unexplored potential for medical compounds. Changing climates threaten the stability of these critical places by means of ocean acidification and rising temperature- in fact, about 75% of the world's reefs are currently threatened. In order to prevent irreversible damage, there is an urgent need to take action to support the resilience of coral reefs in the modern era.
Recent studies shows that corals with more microbial diversity are more resistant and resilient in the face of warmer, more acidic oceans. We propose to establish and population an open source database with two major categories: consortiums of organisms in resilient coral microbiomes, and mechanisms to modify more susceptible coral populations to better withstand the changing climate. In order to make the large quantity of data that can be harvested in microbiology research usable, we will utilize novel systems biology tools to visualize and make sense of the information. This evolving platform will foster collaborative, synergistic efforts to protect critical coral reef ecosystems in a changing world.
People will contribute robustly collected data to an open-source platform
Environmental regulations will allow solutions to be implemented
Modifying coral microbiota actually will increase their resilience
No unintended external effects of the modifications
Lack of application of human medical treatments to ecological issues
Our goal is to launch a platform and initiative for coral microbiome research in one year
Project needs include... People with experience in this area Facilities to conduct research People to help design platform for data collection