CCMI Research Director Awarded National Science Foundation Grant
The Central Caribbean Marine Institute’s Director of Research, Dr Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley has been awarded a grant from the United States National Science Foundation for a collaborative project with Tali Mass of Haifa University in Israel on “Assessing the mechanisms of molecular and morphological adaptation by corals to extreme environments”.
Coral reefs have global ecological, structural, social, and economic importance, are a fundamental component of marine ecosystems, and a major locus of global biodiversity. The recent devastating impacts of global warming and local stressors on shallow-water coral reef communities are expected to increase as oceans continue to warm, leading to more frequent and severe mortality events. In recent years, deeper reef systems have gained considerable interest as they appear to be buffered from impacts affecting shallow-water coral reefs and may, therefore, serve as important areas of refuge for coral survival.
Drs Goodbody-Gringley and Mass will examine the mechanisms that enable corals to thrive across broad depth gradients. Ultimately, this study will improve our understanding of coral reef resilience and indicate the potential for deep reefs to serve as refuges.
Dr Goodbody-Gringley received her B.Sc. from the Univ. of Georgia and her PhD from Harvard University in 2009.