Coral near Curacao | Photo: Fleur van Duyl, NIOZ
A group of sci­ent­ists from Leib­niz Centre for Trop­ical Mar­ine Re­sear­ach (ZMT), the Royal Neth­er­lands In­sti­tute for Sea Re­search (NIOZ) and MARUM – Cen­ter for Mar­ine En­vir­on­mental Sci­ences went to Cur­a­cao to gather data on the mod­ern and fossil reefs sur­round­ing the is­land. Their ex­ped­i­tion will last from Au­gust 23rd un­til Septem­ber 3rd, and they will use state-of-the-art ap­proaches to un­der­stand how reefs have re­spon-ded and will re­spond to warmer cli­mates and higher sea levels. In parallel, they will also test low-cost instruments (such as portable sonars and drones) to develop simple (and fun) methods to gather high-resolution 3D data of nearshore ecosystems.
The research team as a twofold goal. First, they are set out to acquire high-resolution data on coral reefs to understand their functioning today and in the past, with the hope of using this knowledge as a key to understand future changes. Second, they aim to develop a setup to generate reproducible nearshore data that can be used not only by scientists but also by citizens at large, e.g. elementary school pupils.

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