Research on reef corals and coral reefs

Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on earth. They are threatened worldwide by the activities of humans. For reef ecologists, these changes are unprecedented, but there is abundant evidence for rapid ecological change on reef systems in the past from the fossil record.

Past examples of rapid ecological change can be studied from many time intervals and regions. Together they form a set of replicated ‘natural experiments’ in which ancient ecosystems responded to various types of environmental change.

Research aims:

The Museum's reef coral research program aims to study these past experiments to:

  • understand the biological consequences of past changes
  • help predict how modern reef systems might respond to ongoing and future global environmental change

Current projects include:


Fossil reef coral researchers

Project collaborators