Coral AE Press
Photo: Kira Hughes


Recent/selected articles only. Click the image to read the full article.

Scientists are weighing radical steps to save coral

Washington Post

November 2019

In Hawaii [...], scientists study which corals are the most resilient to warming, and even bring them into the lab to condition them by exposing them to even more heat - almost like exercise. They also breed corals that are more heat-resistant to produce stronger offspring.
Photo: Getty Images

Coral-Tracking Satellites Monitor Reef Bleaching in Near-real Time

Nature Magazine

October 2019

The system is helping scientists in Hawaii monitor what could be the state’s most damaging ocean heat wave ever.

Photo: Kimberly Jeffries/Coral Reef Image Bank

Human Nature

Flux Magazine

October 2019

Faced with a warming climate, coral researchers are working to reverse engineer the future through “assisted evolution.” What if nature isn’t what needs to evolve?

Photo: Lenny Kaholo and Wayne Levin/Flux Magazine

Natural Environment: Saving an Essential Part of Hawaii

Hawaii Business Magazine

May 2019

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology program manager Kira Hughes is working on developing more resilient corals – so-called super corals. Her research, funded by Paul G. Allen Philanthropies, involves selectively breeding corals that were tagged around Hawaii’s coasts for their ability to survive the 2015 bleaching event.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino

IVF Corals Can Take the Heat of a Warmer World


April 2019

Researchers have bred corals to make them better able to cope with our changing climate—rising sea temperatures and increased acidity.
Photo: AIMS

Can Genetic Engineering Save the World's Coral Reefs From Climate Change?

Genetic Literacy Project

April 2019

Just 75 kilometers offshore from the research center, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—the world’s largest—has been battered by a string of marine heat waves that have killed half its coral. The threat has transformed [Madeleine] Van Oppen into a leading advocate for something considered radical just a few years ago: creating breeds of coral that can withstand underwater heat waves.
Photo: Cameron Laird

Breeding Baby Corals For Warmer Seas

The Pursuit

March 2019

Hoping to give mother nature a helping hand, researchers are using in vitro fertilisation to breed corals better able to cope with our changing climate
Photo: AIMS

The Great Barrier Reef Could Be Saved By These Lab-Grown Coral Babies


March 2019

Scientists hope a new group of baby corals settled on the Great Barrier Reef could provide the key to creating a reef capable of withstanding climate change. 
Photo: Kate Green/AIMS

Could These "Super Corals" Withstand Climate Change?


March 2019

A series of heat waves have caused massive bleaching events in coral reefs around the globe. One approach being considered to revive these coral reefs is breeding corals resistant to unusually warm seawater. This so-called 'assisted evolution' can potentially be achieved by manipulating the genetic make-up of the coral hosts, the algae inhabitants, and the community of microbes that exist on and within them.
Photo: Oregon State University/ Wikimedia Commons

Researchers Embrace a Radical Idea: Engineering Coral to Cope With Climate Change

Science Magazine

JMarch 2019

The relentless rise of global temperatures is imperiling coral reefs around the world. The threat has transformed Madeleine Van Oppen into a leading advocate for something considered radical just a few years ago: creating breeds of coral that can withstand underwater heat waves. 
Photo: Cameron Laird

Race to Save The Great Barrier Reef

The Engineer

February 2019

Engineering a rescue for the Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s iconic natural wonders
Photo: AIMS

$1 Million Grant Keeps 'Super Coral' Research Alive

Honolulu Civil Beat

JNovember 2018

Scientists will continue the work of the late Ruth Gates to develop corals that are more resistant to the effects of climate change and create reefs that provide natural coastal protection.
Photo: Alana Eagle/Civil Beat

Coral Larvae Cryogenically Frozen and Thawed for the First Time


November 2018

Warming oceans are killing the world's reefs, but scientists may have found a way to help them get out of hot water - by putting corals into a deep freeze.
Photo: Gary Cranitch/Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Teaching Coral to Toughen Up Could Help Reefs Survive Climate Change

Euro News

October 2018

As the world's oceans continue to warm, coral reefs are struggling to survive. In recent years large swaths of some of the world's biggest and best known reefs have died. But scientists are stepping in to help.
Photo: Caleb Jones

Hawaii's Super Coral: Evolution on Fast Forward

Hawaii Business Magazine

September 2018

Collection nets are set on Montipora capitata colonies in Kaneohe Bay and taken to the Gates Coral Lab on Coconut Island, with an objective to breed a "Super Coral" more resilient to rising sea temperatures.
Photo: Elyse Butler

Inside the Mission to Find 50 Reefs That Could Survive Climate Change

News Deeply

July 2018

Last year, a bold initiative set out to locate coral reefs most likely to survive global warming. That turned out to be far easier said than done - but now scientists hope the results will rally attention to regions where there's hope to save crucial marine ecosystems.
Photo: Emily Darling/WCS

Scientists Are Speeding Up Evolution To Build Climate Change Resistance

Fast Company

July 2018

Scientists are using assisted evolution to create coral that can survive in hotter waters. Is messing with nature the path to survival, or too dangerous to contemplate?
Photo: Christian Miller/AIMS

Coral Spawning: A Race Against Time

The Hydrous

July 2018

Coral spawning gives us the opportunity to study how future conditions will impact the next generation of corals, in addition to allowing us to test large-scale rearing efforts, providing a snapshot as to how corals are doing in Kaneohe Bay today.
Photo: Shayle Matsuda

This Coral Must Die

Seattle Times

July 2018

In a lab in Philadelphia, scientists are studying what it takes to kill "super coral" to understand the impact of human activities on the mysterious reefs of the deep ocean. 
Photo: Alexis Weinnig/New York Times

New Research Provides 'Oases' Of Hope For The Future Of Coral Reefs

British Ecological Society

June 2018

Amidst dire reports about the health of the world’s coral reefs, California State University, Northridge marine biologist Peter Edmunds and a team of researchers have found coral reef “oases” that provide hope that all is not lost for these beautiful ecosystems.
Photo: Peter J Edmunds, California State University, Northridge

Hawaii Bans Sunscreens With Chemicals That Damage
Coral Reefs, But Australia Reluctant To Follow

ABC News

May 2018

Hawaii has become the first US state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing two common chemicals because of their damaging impact on coral reefs. But there is far less enthusiasm for a similar ban in Australia, with some experts questioning the evidence behind Hawaii's decision.
Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr

There's Still Time For Us To Save The Great Barrier Reef

Popular Science

April 2018

Just how much trouble is coral in? The answer is complicated.
Photo: Mikhail Matz, University of Texas at Austin

Coral Researchers Test Gene-Editing

Cosmos Magazine

April 2018

​An international team has succeeded in using CRISPR to investigate the functions of crucial genes for a common reef species.
Photo: Image Source RF/Justin Lewis/Getty Images

Using CRISPR To Edit Coral

SCOPE by Stanford Medicine

April 2018

Researchers at Stanford have turned to CRISPR, a gene-editing tool that allows for quick and accurate changes in the DNA of organisms. And for what appears to be the first time, scientists have successfully edited the genes in a type of widespread coral found in the Great Barrier Reef.
Photo: Petra Lundgren, Juan C Vera, Lesa Peplow, Stephanie Manel and Madeleine JH van Oppen

These Scientists Are Trying To Breed Super Coral That Can Survive Climate Change


March 2018

They still look beautiful, but coral reefs are dying at staggering rates - experts project that 90 percent of the world's reefs will be gone by 2050. But a growing group of scientists around the world are searching for innovative solutions to make sure that doesn't happen.
Photo: VICE News/HBO

Mass Die-Offs Are Driving Efforts to Create Hardier Corals

The Economist

March 2018

Selective breeding and genetic engineering are both possibilities.
Photo: Getty Images

Can You Hack Coral to Save It?


February 2018

As sea levels rise and megastorms become more frequent and intense, answering that question might be the key to preserving coastal life as we know it.
Photo: Dan Mele/Mote Marine Lab

Coral Reefs Are Bleaching Too Frequently to Recover

The Atlantic

January 2017

Reefs rarely overheated and died in 1980. Now, they are bleaching too fast to recover.
Photo: Susannah Sayler/Reuters

New Lab-Bred Super Corals Could Help Avert Global Reef Wipeout

The Guardian

December 2017

Pioneering research on cross-species coral hybrids, inoculations with protective bacteria and even genetic engineering could provide a lifeline for the 'rainforests of the oceans'.
Photo: James Craggs/Horniman Museum

Scientists Create Hybrid Coral To Combat Reef Destruction

Green Matters

December 2017

While creating stronger coral might help reefs stay ahead of extinction for a little while, it is not a permanent solution since the climate might continue to get hotter at faster speeds. Still, as the environment evolves, scientists are determined to buy the oceans some time.
Photo: Facebook/Australian Institute of Marine Science

The Guardians of the Great Barrier Reef

Foreign Policy

December 2017

Australia's scientists are working against time and climate change politics to save their beloved coral reef.
Photo: Maarten de Boer/Getty Images

How Coral Researchers Are Coping With the Death of Reefs

The Atlantic

November 2017

The drumbeat of devastating news can take its toll on the mental health of people who have devoted their lives to coral.
Photo: David Gray/Reuters

The Great Barrier Reef Can Repair Itself, With A Little Help From Science

The Conversation

October 2017

The Great Barrier Reef is suffering from recent unprecedented coral bleaching events. But the answer to part of its recovery could lie in the reef itself, with a little help.
Photo: Neal Cantin/AIMS

Hidden Dangers of the Coral Reef Crisis

Huffington Post

October 2017

It's high time the international community approach the worldwide degradation of coral reefs as a pressing climate issue, because the costs we pay for losing them are far more severe than they appear at first glance.
Photo: Oregon State University/Flickr

The Amazing Biological Fixes That Could Help Save The Great Barrier Reef

Brisbane Times

October 2017

In just the past two years, up to half the coral on the Great Barrier Reef has died. The world has reacted differentially to this disaster. Publics have been shocked. Conservationists have cried. The tourism industry has fractured. Some opportunistic politicians have denied. And scientists, what have we done? We've become angry.
Photo: David Gray/Reuters

Building a Better Coral Reef

The New York Times

September 2017

As reefs die off, researchers want to breed the world's hardiest corals in labs and return them to the sea to multiply. The effort raises scientific and ethical questions.
Photo: David Maurice Smith for The New York Times

Race to Decode Coral DNA to Save World's Reefs From Extinction

News Deeply

August 2017

New genetic technologies are enabling scientists to identify traits that may help corals survive warming ocean temperatures that threaten the survival of coral reefs critical to marine ecosystems.
Photo: The Ocean Agency/XL Catlin Seaview Survey/Richard Vevers

Netflix Film 'Chasing Coral' Warns of Grim Future for Imperiled Reefs

Live Science

July 2017

Around the world, coral reefs are feeling the heat - literally. Persistently rising ocean temperatures have triggered coral bleaching events on a scale never seen before, and a new documentary captures a grim view of reefs in trouble, and warns about what we could lose when they die.
Photo: Chasing Coral

Coral Reefs Could Be Gone in 30 Years

National Geographic

June 2017

World Heritage reefs will die of heat stress unless global warming is curbed, a new UN study finds.
Photo: David Doubilet/Nat Geo Image Collection

UNESCO: World Heritage Coral Reefs Will Die of Heat Stress Unless Global Warming is Curbed

Nature World News

June 2017

Whether or not you recognize the causes of climate change, some effects are becoming indisputable. The latest: coral reefs all over the world are dying due to heat stress.
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

The Great Barrier Reef Is Probably Doomed No Matter What

The Atlantic

May 2017

A new study suggests that even slight amounts of global warming will devastate Australia and destroy its famous reef.
Photo: David Gray/Reuters

Ruins, Not Reefs: How Climate Change is Fast-Forwarding Coral Science

The Atlantic

April 2017

"​It's a complete change in the phenomenon that all of us study."
Photo: Reuters

The Fight to Save Coral


March 2017

Climate change is pushing corals, and the biologists hoping to save them, to their limits.
Photo: Raphael Ritson-Williams

Bleach-Proof Coral at Least 5 Years Away

Herald Sun

March 2017

Bleach-proof coral being developed to restore damaged parts of the Great Barrier Reef is still at least five years away from being a reality.
A team of Australian and US researchers has been examining how reef managers would go about introducing corals which have been grown via human assisted evolution (AE).
Photo: Lachie Millard Words

Towards Progressive Coral Reef Conservation and Restoration

Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

March 2017

This summer, large parts of the Great Barrier Reef saw the hottest sea temperatures and the most severe coral bleaching ever recorded - so before the next impact hits, scientists are racing against time to understand the demise of reefs and the prospects for their recovery. Catalyst explores the lethal threat of bleaching to the Great Barrier Reef, and the challenges we all face to protect this global treasure .
Photo: AIMS

Scientists to Create Techniques to Save the Great Barrier Reef From Dying

Nature World News

October 2016

With the alarming news that Australia's Great Barrier Reef is in the
brink of death, scientists are formulating live-saving techniques to
prevent coral death and the declining population of marine life.
Photo: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

German: Frau Gates und die Superathleten
English: Mrs. Gates and the Superathletes

DIE ZEIT (Germany)

March 2017

German: Eine britische Meeresbiologin trainiert Korallen, um Riffe gegen den Klimawandel zu wappnen. Ein umstrittenes Vorhaben.

English: A British marine biologist trains corals to reap reefs against climate change. A controversial project.

Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images