The health status of any benthic ecosystem is tightly coupled to its associated sediment and porewater
chemistries, which in turn are mediated by life itself. The overall project scope is to understand and compare the effects of sediment quality and composition (texture, organic carbon, heavy metals) and physiochemical parameters (depth, temperature, oxygen reducing potential, pH) on reef-dwelling BF and associated microbial communities to demonstrate the utility of the FI as a cost-effective biomonitoring tool for coral reef water quality and determine the extent to which microbial communities contribute to remediation of heavy metals in reef sediments. This project is funded by a fellow collaborartive NAS Gulf Research Program.
This project is in collaboration with Dr. Jill McDermott (Lehigh University) and Dr. Adrienne Correa (Rice University).