In January of 2015, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation surveyed a plethora of reefs throughout the Palauan archipelago as part of their Global Reef Expedition. Details can be found here. A proper field report has not yet been generated for Palau, but it should be ready soon. I have analyzed my pocilloporid coral samples using my standardized protocol, though I have not TOUCHED the data since I acquired them years ago (sadly). My goal is to get to them by the early part of 2019 (or, alternatively, I am willing to share the data with anyone interested). Here is the RNA/DNA/protein extraction protocol I used with ~180 or so pocilloporid coral samples; 108 of the genotyped colonies were Pocillopora acuta, rather than P. damicornis. What I can say is that, like all other coral colonies sampled as part of the Global Reef Expedition, stress gene expression levels were incredibly high in both the coral hosts and their endosymbiotic Symbiodinium populations. Sadly, we never encountered a pristine reef in all our surveys between 2013 and 2016, even to some of the most far-flung islands and atolls in the world.

Here are the pictures from the January and February dives (linked to my OneDrive account).

I realize it’s impossible to see all the site names; this is mainly to show how well we canvassed the western side of the country. Who wants to go back and do the east side?!

I realize it’s impossible to see all the site names; this is mainly to show how well we canvassed the western side of the country. Who wants to go back and do the east side?!

For some of the best images from the trip, please check out those I've posted below.