Educational videos about coral reefs

Educational videos about coral reefs

Program: Changing Seas
Episode: Mysterious Microbes
From: are some the ocean’s tiniest inhabitants. On coral reefs, microorganisms are copious creatures. But in a world that’s invisible to the naked eye, drastic changes are taking place. Throughout Florida, scientists painstakingly work to identify key players within this microbial community. Recent breakthroughs revealed a direct link between a human pathogen and a devastating coral disease

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Microbes rule the reef. They determine both coral reef health and decline. Exploration of their diverse roles in these ecosystems has become possible only recently with the development of new research methods, such as metagenomics. Join San Diego State microbial ecologist Forest Rohwer as he builds his case for the role of microbes in the DDAMnation of coral reefs. His research expeditions to the remote Line Islands, including trips with Scripps scientists, have provided new insights into the mechanisms by which
human activities can influence reef health; how we convert the essential microbial partners of a healthy coral reef ecosystem into coral killers. Series: “Perspectives on Ocean Science” [9/2011]

Oceanographer Paul Snelgrove shares the results of a ten-year project with one goal: to take a census of all the life in the oceans. He shares amazing photos of some of the surprising finds of the Census of Marine Life.Paul Snelgrove led the group that pulled together the findings of the Census of Marine Life — synthesizing 10 years and 540 expeditions.

Dr. Knowlton begins her talk by explaining what coral are and how they build reefs. Using many spectacular photographs, Knowlton illustrates the decline of most of the world’s coral reefs over the past 30-40 years. She describes the effects of direct destruction such as dynamite fishing, as well as the more indirect, but equally catastrophic, effects of invasive species, excessive nutrients due to terrestrial run off, and ocean warming. She ends on a more hopeful note, showing how stringent conservation efforts in some places have resulted in healthier, more resilient reefs.

In Part 2, Knowlton talks about the phenomenal biodiversity found in coral communities and why this diversity is important to reef health. She explains how difficult it is to classify corals and the many organisms with which they co-exist, and how modern genetic methods are proving much of the traditional taxonomy to be wrong. The Census of Marine Life project, of which Knowlton is a partner, is striving to find standardized and easily automated methods to take a global census of the biodiversity of coral reefs and results so far suggest the diversity is truly enormous.

A short clip about my life as a marine biology Ph.D. student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego ( The aquarium footage was filmed at the Birch Aquarium (, and thanks to fellow grad student, Emily Kelly, for videography.

This video gives a brief visual introduction to the amazing reefs of Curacao. It is here, in the southern Caribbean, that I perform most of my dissertation research measuring the health of corals.

Have students who think they want to be marine biologists? Show them this video! It’ll get them even more excited. Ayana Johnson, who is working on her Ph.D. at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, first fell in love with the ocean and became fascinated by coral reefs at age 5. Now, with the ocean as her office, she is working on preserving coral reefs by studying how fishing affects the ocean ecosystem. Learn more about her research, work as a marine biologist, and life outside the “office” in this 6-minute video.

Here at the CARMABI Research Station, marine biologist, Valerie Chamberland, explains how we study the settlement and post-settlement survival of coral larvae of the brooding species Agaricia humilis on the reefs of Curacao.

An answer to a question about studying bioluminescence from Kristin, a high schooler in Escondido, CA.

An answer to a question about coral and their symbiotic algae from a Zach, a high schooler in Escondido, California.


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