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Pew Institute and NASA collaboration on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Ecosystem

April 10, 2006

Pew Institue for Ocean Science Research Associate, Dr. Scarla J. Weeks, is using satellite imagery to delve into the processes involved in coral bleaching and associated deleterious effects on the Great Barrier Reef marine ecosystem. Weeks is co-principal investigator for the Pew Institute for Ocean Science "Adverse Eco-Feedbacks" project, which focuses on elaborating the internal mechanisms acting within marine ecosystems to determine the nature of the responses (e.g., resilience or abrupt degradation, etc.) to fishing, climate change, and other stresses. A current focus of the project is a comparative study of the western tropical Atlantic and Pacific regions. Such a comparative approach offers a means to sort out processes and influences that may be very difficult to unravel in any single regional ecosystem viewed in isolation. The serious 2006 coral bleaching episode occurring in the Great Barrier Reef offers an acute case in point, and consequently is a major focus of current activity within the project.

News on Nasa Site about Dr. Weeks' work

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