Location: Simons IMAX Theatre

Aquarium Lecture Series

How to Fall in Love with a Coral

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Joanie Kleypas, Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Founder of Raising Coral Costa Rica

Coral reefs were once thought of as indestructible, but we are now losing corals at an ever-faster pace. Halting the loss of coral reefs depends on two major lines of action: keeping global temperature rise to less than 1.5°C and actively restoring coral reefs through propagation of climate-resilient corals and “replanting” them on damaged reefs. Joanie Kleypas will provide the latest information on the coral reef crisis and discuss her project in Costa Rica to raise corals and how it has changed her relationships with coral reefs and people.

About Joanie Kleypas

Joanie thinks a lot about the oceans, coral reefs, and climate change. She has worked on coral reefs for more than 30 years, including trying to understand how climate change and ocean acidification will shape the future state of coral reefs. She has worked for years with oceanographic modelers to look for “climate refugia” for coral populations. She continues to pursue that work, but the refugia are getting smaller and it’s clear that traditional ways to conserve coral reefs will not be enough. So she recently started an active reef restoration project on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Getting back in the water has been a positive and practical way to work on solutions for coral reefs. The project is also proving to be surprisingly effective in communicating about climate change with the public.