© Carrie Sims
Dr Maria Beger from the University of Leeds has received this year’s Ralph Brown Expedition Award to explore whether subtropical coral reef ecosystems could be a refuge for tropical coral communities.
Building on her existing work in the Solitary Island Marine Park in New South Wales and Heron Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Dr Beger aims to improve our understanding of the life history strategies of both tropical and subtropical coral reef communities to see how they vary. Working with local collaborators from the University of Queensland, she will collect data from the coral communities on annual growth, survival and recruitment dynamics and coral bleaching, which will enable predictions to be made about coral community resilience in the face of climate change.
The knowledge gained from Dr Beger’s project will also help to design effective coral reef management plans and conservation strategies. Dr Beger and her team will conduct their fieldwork in August and September this year.
The Ralph Brown Expedition Award is an annual grant of £12,500 awarded to the senior researcher of an expedition working in an aquatic environment. Undergraduate and school-level expeditions are not eligible and postgraduate study is not normally eligible. The award is given in memory of Ralph Brown and has been supporting research and expedition projects since 1998.
The next deadline for the Ralph Brown Expedition Award is 23 November. Find out more.
Our grants programme supports up to 60 projects across the world every year. Are you seeking funding for fieldwork? Find a grant.