Does this look like a heart to anyone else?

Does this look like a heart to anyone else?

In October-November of 2014, the Khaled Bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation surveyed the most remote, eastern reefs of the Solomon Islands. To read about our research goals, please click here. I sampled pocilloporid corals (under a CITES permit) to attempt to make conjectures about their health using a standardized biomarker protocol I developed previously. I have analyzed the expression of a handful of genes, as well as collected other physiological data from about 120 samples (described here), though I have not yet analyzed the data; I promise to get to it this year (2019)! Alternatively, if anyone is interested in taking a crack at it (or knows someone who may be), feel free to email me. In the meantime, the RNA/DNA/protein extraction protocol can be downloaded here.

And does this coral appear to be smiling at me?

And does this coral appear to be smiling at me?

What I can tell you from a cursory look at the data is that, as was the case in all other places we surveyed during the “Global Reef Expedition,” all corals (and their in hospite Symbiodinium populations) were exhibiting the molecular hallmarks of a cellular stress response at the time of sampling. For a sneak peak of those data, please check out this JMP file (for P. acuta only). Here are some supplemental data about all sampled colonies. This file contains the NCBI accession numbers of the mitochondrial open reading frame sequences used for genotyping the coral samples, as well as other information about the samples (site information, depth, sampling dates, environmental data, etc.).

I have posted some of my favorite photos below. For all pictures (hosted on my OneDrive account), here are the October and November ones. Here is the field report from LOF.  GPS coordinates of the sites and environmental data (temperature, salinity, reef types, etc.) are also available for download (see hyperlinks in this sentence). Since Aperture is no longer supported by Apple, I had to use their Photos program to access my Aperture libraries. This sometimes meant the high-resolution and/or edited versions were lost.

Nearly all sampled colonies were  P. acuta  (and not  P. damicornis ).  Ben Wainwright  of the  Reef Ecology Lab  of the National University of Singapore is currently characterizing the microbial communities of ~100 of these samples (including their dinoflagellate endosymbiont assemblages).

Nearly all sampled colonies were P. acuta (and not P. damicornis). Ben Wainwright of the Reef Ecology Lab of the National University of Singapore is currently characterizing the microbial communities of ~100 of these samples (including their dinoflagellate endosymbiont assemblages).


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PCA by Symbiodinium assemblage.

blue x=mostly clade C w/ residual A, black *=mostly clade D w/ residual clades A+C.

Best of Solomon Islands