Reef Lecture: Insights on the impacts of coral restoration

January 26, 2022

CCMI is pleased to start 2022 with a great Reef Lecture given by the Director of Research and Education, Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley to update the Cayman Islands community on CCMI’s coral restoration and outplanting efforts. Dr. Goodbody-Gringley’s talk is entitled: Insights on the impacts of coral restoration: How planting corals affects the entire ecosystem, an event that is free and open to the public (advance registration required).

This year marks a decade of restoration research at CCMI. During this time, we have made significant strides toward improving our methods for rearing corals in the nursery as well as improving survival after planting corals back onto the reef. Initiation of our coral-dome project has shown an increase in long-term survival of out planted corals from 8% to 73% and has given important insights to site selection and out-planting strategies.

Recently, we investigated how our out-planted coral-domes affected the resident fish populations. Nearly two years after creating a series of coral-dome sites, we found an increase in fish density and diversity over time at reefs where corals were planted, suggesting that not only does restoration impact corals, but potentially the entire ecosystem. These findings provide support for our continued efforts to restore populations of these threatened coral species, as it will have far reaching impacts towards improving reef health.

Date: Thursday, 24th February 2022

Time: 5:45-6:45pm

Location: National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, Dart Auditorium

For more information and to register for this free event, please click HERESpace is limited and all attendees will be required to wear a mask while inside the Auditorium.

About the speaker

Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley is CCMI’s Director of Research & Education and has been with CCMI since January 2020. Prior to that, Dr. Goodbody-Gringley was an Assistant Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) where she led the Reef Ecology and Evolution Laboratory.

She completed her BSc at the University of Georgia and her Ph.D. at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. She then held postdoctoral positions at Mote Marine Laboratory and University of Bologna, Italy.

Her research focuses on population structure, reproductive ecology, and genetic connectivity of a variety of organisms that inhabit tropical coral reef ecosystems ranging from inshore shallow reefs down to the mesophotic zone, with the goal of understanding how ecosystems function in order to maintain biodiversity.