VI-EPSCoR researcher receives prestigious National Academies of Sciences appointment.
VI-EPSCoR Coral Reef Research scientist Dr. Tyler Smith receives a prestigious appointment to a National Academies of Sciences committee.
Dr. Tyler Smith, lead Coral Reef Researcher with VI-EPSCoR, and Associate Research Professor of Marine Science with the University of the Virgin Islands has been appointed to a National Academies of Sciences committee to study coral reef resilience. This is a tremendous honor of international significance.
Formed by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the committee is tasked with conducting a study titled Interventions to Increase the Resilience of Coral Reefs. (IIRCR)
It is known that coral bleaching events and coral diseases are byproducts of climate change; warmer ocean temperatures and deteriorating environmental conditions directly impact the health of coral colonies. What may not be well known is that some research is showing that it may be possible to intervene to support and protect threatened coral colonies. The IIRCR committee is tasked with summarizing the existing scientific evidence showing potential intervention options, providing an environmental risk assessment framework, developing a pathway forward, spotlighting additional research needs and accessing intervention options for the next 5-20 years.
It is somewhat alarming to note the committees directive states “Atlantic/Caribbean coral reef systems are specified for this assessment due to their advanced state of coral reef degradation, less complex ecological conditions (e.g., smaller basin, lower diversity), and imperiled status of foundational reef-building coral species, compared to the Indo-Pacific.”
We are tremendously proud of Dr. Smith’s achievements and contributions to the preservation of coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands. His dedication to coral disease research, the Territorial Coral Reef Monitoring Project (TCRMP) and mesophotic reef research informs the knowledge he brings to the committee and greatly impacts the quality of research taking place in the USVI. Learn more about Dr. Smith and his work here: https://sites.google.com/a/myuvi.net/tyler-b-smith-lab