PhD: How do coral energy strategies influence their survival?
Location: School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor
Social media contact – BlueSky: @farutholhi.bsky.social
After completing my BA in Biology at NYU, I focused on the marine environment by pursing an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection at Bangor University. Since graduating in 2018, I have worked as a Marine Biologist at the Maldives Marine Research Institute focusing on coral reef research where I led the National Coral Reef Monitoring program and the National Coral Reef Restoration program. During my time with the institute, I have been fortunate enough to work on a variety of collaborative projects that ranged from investing reproductive patterns of Maldivian reefs with CSIRO, assessing the status of Maldivian reefs from the North to the South of the nation with the Noo Raajje program and the Blue Prosperity Coalition to investigating mesophotic reefs within the Maldives with Nekton.
My PhD research investigates how trophic strategies employed by scleractinian corals vary with resource availability to determine whether trophic plasticity can facilitate coral survival. My field work is based at the coral reefs of Palmyra Atoll and the Red Sea where I will be sampling different species of corals from different reef habitats that have differing availability of energetic resources. Stable Isotope Analyses will be used on the coral samples to determine whether the corals are attaining their nutrition more heterotrophy or autotrophy. The nutritional method will then be correlated with physiological metrics to determine to how heterotrophy, autotrophy or both facilitate coral resilience and survival. The results of this study have implications on coral reef trajectories in the face of changing coastal habitats and environments and can be used to support management measures.