I have answered this question more times than I can count since September. My colleagues, friends, and family members have been curious as to why someone who studies plants, can suddenly switch to studying fish for a semester.
Coral reefs often go unnoticed because they’re underwater; but even though we don’t regularly pay much attention to them, they’re an extremely important part of our everyday lives. Coral reefs have been estimated to provide support for over a quarter of all marine species and this extreme biodiversity makes them a frequent source of discovery for new medicines that can help fight cancer and other diseases. They also protect our coastlines from storm surges, and provide millions of individuals with a source food and income.
Our infrastructure is designed for the climate in which it was developed; engineering standards and logistical procedures are based on historical weather patterns, and as environmental conditions change, some of these systems may need to be re-configured.