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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Researching the endangered coral Acropora cervicornis

Belize 2012

In Summer 2012, Professor Lisa Greer returned to Ambergris Caye, Belize, to continue researching the endangered coral Acropora cervicornis. She looked at the health, abundance, and history of this endangered coral species by analyzing coral and herbivore abundance at the site. The goal was to better understand the conditions under which the species thrives.

Her primary area of research, however, involves documenting the geochemistry of Modern and Holocene carbonates to understand climate and environmental change in marine systems. Recently, she used corals collected off distant Barbados to track climate-induced changes in Amazon and Orinoco River flow. She also looked at tectonic and climate-induced restriction of an inland seaway in the Dominican Republic after the Holocene Thermal Maximum. She is also working on quantifying the relative contribution of anthropogenic carbon and terrestrial carbon derived from deforestation to the stable carbon isotope composition of corals from southern Belize.