My passion for marine science developed from my desire to simply spend time in the ocean. Surfing, fishing, and freediving led me to want to know more about the mysteries of the marine environment. During my undergraduate degree I arranged an independent research project to study coral bleaching in Fiji, and I've been obsessed with tropical coral reefs ever since. I recently completed my doctoral studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. My primary research investigates coral health and disease, with a focus on the physiological impacts of diseases on affected corals and their associated algal endosymbionts. I've spent years researching the epidemiology of affected coral populations in order to determine environmental drivers of reduced coral health and disease throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago. Studying the health of corals led me to ask, "how can we measure the impact of disease and mortality on reef ecosystems." To answer this fundamental question I developed new techniques to create 3D reconstructions of coral reefs. This innovative approach enhances our capability to assess the impacts of stressors on the structural complexity of coral reefs. This work is critical because it allows us to determine how the physical habitat is altered by disturbance, and how those changes will affect fish and invertebrates. Ultimately, this work helps us to understand how coral reefs may change in the face of global stressor such as climate change, and what this will mean for the marine resources we depend on.
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