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Research Spotlight: Halmos Researchers Collect Coral Spawning Samples in Florida Keys

Coral Fertilization

This August Halmos graduate students from faculty member Joana Figueiredo’s marine larval ecology lab traveled to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to collect coral larvae from Acropora cervicornis, the Staghorn coral. These larvae were collected for the student’s graduate research projects. This research is conducted with the collaboration of the Florida Aquarium and the Coral Restoration Foundation. All activities conducted to collect these larvae were conducted under federal permit in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The Staghorn coral is listed as a critically endangered as there has been a population reduction exceeding 80% over the past 30 years. This species is susceptible to bleaching. Staghorn coral is found throughout the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Caribbean islands and the Great Barrier Reef.