Students spend spring break doing coral research

A team of dedicated undergraduate students remained on campus during spring break March 11-15 to care for more than 300 corals, which arrived recently from American Samoa. The corals will help advance Dr. Vania Coelho's research focused on preventing coral stress and mortality due to the rise in water temperatures.

Coelho’s experiment will last a month, ending in April. Throughout this time, eight sophomores are responsible for taking care of the corals daily and collecting all the data for the experiment under Dr. Coelho's supervision.

CLICK HERE  to read the Marin Independent Journal story on Dr. Coelho about her work.

Coelho’s research is focused on preventing bleaching through shading in coral species commonly found in the Indo-Pacific. The work underway at Dominican is a product of a grant originally funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Coelho, Associate Professor of Biology in Dominican's Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, has led several projects in American Samoa in the South Pacific. One project, in 2010, was on the main island of Tutuila where the research team worked with the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources to conduct studies in shading in a natural lagoon and its impact on coral. The other project, in 2011, was a field experiment with the National Park Service on the island of Ofu, researching the effect of light intensity in corals found in a shallow reef while manipulating temperatures in tanks with fresh seawater in shaded and un-shaded conditions. Coelho is in the process of analyzing and submitting the data to academic journals.

To read more about Dr. Coelho and her research, please visit: