TRED Annual Report FY2021

NSU DIVISION OF RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NSU DIVISION OF RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 9 8 Lauren Nadler, Ph.D., principal investigator (PI) and Tyler Cyronak, Ph.D., (co-PI) from Halmos College of Arts and Science’s Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences were recently awarded a three-year $369K NSF IRES grant titled “Systems-Based Transdisciplinary Approaches to Coral Reef Science and Conservation.” This grant will support three graduate-level courses focused on collaboration and interdisciplinarity, features necessary to address the existing and emergent needs of the coral reef scientific and conservation communities (the overarching topic of this program). The courses will involve research and education activities both in the United States and at remote field sites in Australia. ABOUT THE RECENT GRANT-FUNDED PROJECT Coral reefs are important ecosystems, with 30 percent of species in the ocean using the coral reef at some point in their lives, and nearby coastal communities receiving benefits such as protection from storm surge and access to resources. But when you take students to view a reef in Fort Lauderdale, they see reefs degraded by climate change, overfishing, disease, and other factors. On the other hand, Australia, the field location for this program, has more pristine coral reefs that allow students to see how these ecosystems could be better managed. Their funded graduate research program provides an opportunity to combine the research and teaching conducted by Nadler and Cyronak to allow students to directly experience unique coral reef environments, obtain hands-on research skills, and expand their scientific networks. This immersive experience will allow students to learn much more than they could in a university-based classroom or laboratory setting. Furthermore, research is an important skill for any career in science, including non-academic ones, so the program will support students interested in pursuing diverse career paths. Participating faculty in this program, from both the United States and Australia, come from diverse subspecialties and fields of coral reef science. This interdisciplinary approach is key for studying coral reefs, as these broad perspectives will help students tackle the large problems facing reefs globally. NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION FUNDS INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE RESEARCH PROGRAM IN CORAL REEF SCIENCE RESEARCH SPOTLIGHTS