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Bleached Corals

Bleached Corals

November 1, 2018

Hanny Rivera, a graduate student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, takes a tissue sample from a bleached coral. When ocean waters warm, corals lose the colorful algae that lives in their soft tissue, and their white skeletons become visible—a phenomenon known as “bleaching” that can cause the coral to starve and die. Ocean waters are becoming warmer and more acidic, threatening to harm coral reefs. But scientists have found so-called “Super Reefs” with corals that are resilient to these conditions. Rivera studied the genetics of these coral populations. She is exploring whether offspring from resiliant corals can travel to other reefs to help sustain coral populations. Rivera’s Ph.D. thesis defense is on Thursday at 3 Redfield Auditorium. (Photo by Tom DeCarlo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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