WHOI marine chemist Konrad Hughen adjusts the temperatures on a set of aquarium heaters at the Mote Marine Laboratory in February 2007. The aquaria housed fragments of corals—species Montastrea faveolata—that had been collected from the harbor in Key West, Florida. In Hughen's experiments with Erich Bartels and other colleagues at Mote, the team subjected the corals to various temperatures in order to measure lipid geochemistry and develop a new index for assessing the stress that rising water temperatures can put on corals. Such work will eventually help researchers reconstruct the history of past stresses, such as coral bleaching events.
(Photo courtesy of Stephanie Tudor and Konrad Hughen, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)