These include measurements of coral cover, sea temperature, other important benthic groups and numbers of coral juveniles. Measurements which are performed at several depths and around all atolls. They track and monitor the repeated collapses and recovery of BIOT’ reefs during marine heatwaves and this has shown BIOT to contain particularly resilient reefs which previously have recovered well from destructive warming episodes.
I have been instrumental in developing scientists’ interest in the archipelago, building up a now considerable amount of research performed there. I developed this large research programme on islands and reefs for the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) government through a series of expeditions. I have also written and led several environmental management plans for the BIOT government. These in turn led to the proclamation of the territory as a giant marine protected area.
This work programme was recognized by government assessors as being in the ‘top 20’ out of 7,000 assessed research programmes in the UK. With a long series of magazine articles and public lectures on BIOT I also have spread the word more widely on the territory, which contains the UK’s highest marine biodiversity.
The absence of many local, direct impacts makes this one of very few places to determine the effects of climate change on coral reefs, especially rising sea temperature, in the absence of most confounding human impacts.
Coral Reef ResilienceMonitoring Coral Reefs in the British Indian Ocean Territory
Of equal focus and output, has been a long period of reef research in the Arabian Area, often but not only as consultant to most Arabian Governments, and numerous marine-impacting industries. Likewise, advisor to several Caribbean island states on tropical scientific marine management issues, such as: effects of damaging activity, speed of ecosystem recovery, consequences of impacts such as food security, shoreline erosion and economic dependence.