Did you know that coral reefs support at least a quarter of marine species? Approximately 500 million people worldwide rely on coral reefs for food and their livelihoods, and the reefs protect coastlines from storms and erosion. The reefs are important, people! These important and delicate ecosystems have been under threat in the last decades from global climate change, unsustainable fishing, land-based pollution and diseases. Scientists are hard at work studying the reefs and learning what we can do to help protect the oceans. One of these scientists is Dr. Drew Harvell.
Dr. Harvell is a marine ecologist who has spent her career researching ocean biodiversity. She specializes in ocean health, studying diseases in marine ecosystems. She has published many scientific articles about infectious diseases in ocean species and what actions can be taken to help prevent outbreaks from ravaging ocean populations. Dr. Harvell has worked as a U.S. Science Envoy in 2023, travelling to connect and collaborate with scientists around the world as they coordinate efforts to save the oceans!