These reefs have been monitored since 1978 and assessing the changes in coral reef benthic communities has proved to be a key component in understanding the future condition of BIOT’s marine environment in the present warming world.
The aim of the study is to quantify the biodiversity and community composition, describe benthic habitats across depth, assess environmental deterioration due to climate change and monitor the change in benthic community.
A video archive of coral reef benthic community structure has been developed across various depths at permanent monitoring sites throughout the atolls. This allows us to revisit the sites and provide detailed analysis of the changes in communities. Given the nature and scale of issues that coral reefs are facing, the video and imagery archive represent a valuable permanent record of the environment at a particular time and space. Thus, helping us to better understand and manage coral reefs.
Understanding how undisturbed reefs like the Chagos Archipelago are coping with the changing climate is vital for us better understand and therefore manage degraded reefs in the Indian Ocean and beyond.
Coral Reef ResilienceMonitoring Coral Reefs in the British Indian Ocean Territory
I am interested in structural complexity of coral assemblages, and how functional and morphological traits of coral colonies can be used to assess structural diversity on reefs. I am also interested in coral bleaching mechanism and photo-physiology of coral symbionts.