Science Is The Root Of Our Work

Coral reef science, multidisciplinary research, and data drive our projects, actions, and message. Our main focus is applied science through which we seek to increase the technical and technological capacity for the effective conservation and restoration of coral reefs.

As with scientific rigor, we are committed to community involvement. Therefore, we actively engage citizens in our scientific research and environmental conservation actions.

We work with individual researchers, as well as groups from universities, NGOs, government agencies, and others. Reach to us to discuss your ideas for research.

From our beginning to Dec 2019, we have:

Signed agreements with the Metropolitan University of Manchester (MMU), University of Milano-Bicocca, Seaflower Foundation, Help 2 Oceans Foundation, and Ecotono Corporation to develop among others joint scientific research projects in marine and coastal resources.

Collaborated with MMU as associate researcher in the project “Fishing for life“.

Published three scientific articles on the results of the projects of coral restoration in which Corales de Paz collaborates in Colombia (Reef for All) and Seychelles.

Two research projects submitted for funding to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of coral restoration actions in Colombia.

From Students to Professionals

Research Projects and Collaborations

We undertake coral reef science and research projects on our own initiative or in collaboration with leading researchers, universities, scientists, and other organizations. Research ideas and questions arise from challenges we face during our work and the need to advance coral reef conservation science.

We are in the unique position of being able to provide investigators with access to coral nurseries at different locations worldwide, support in the form of trained divers, as well as limited financial support, for field work that aligns itself with our model for self-funded research and research priorities. Collaborations with undergraduate and post-graduate students are mutually beneficial partnerships. Contact us if you would like to collaborate with Corales de Paz on a research project.

Our current and past research projects and collaborations

Varadero Reef Fotomosaic
Fotomosaico PVA St 6 Despues. Modelo 3D

Photomosaics as an input for the effective conservation and restoration of Colombian Caribbean coral reefs

Own Project

This project seeks to generate information inputs (eg. priority sites; reference sites and conditions; updated baseline on diversity, coverage and benthic condition; structural complexity) with which to guide and monitor the transplantation of nursery-grown coral colonies from the “Reef for All” large-scale participatory coral reef restoration project undertaken since 2017 at the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve. This information will allow the estimation of the ecological footprint of the restoration effort. In addition to the traditional gathering of information on the benthic structure, the photomosaic technique is being used with which to evaluate the structure and growth of coral reefs. Photomosaics are a modern technique that allows the construction of two-dimensional and three-dimensional benthic images, spatially georeferenced with high resolution. From the qualitative classification of the evaluated stations, possible reference sites (i.e. healthy), sites with intervention needs, and possible control sites (i.e. degraded) are being identified. Once the objectives have been met, the project seeks to update baseline information on the state of the coral communities in San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, as a necessary input to guide, evaluate and complement the restoration efforts that are being carried out in the archipelago.

Sergio A. Suárez V, Cindy V. Carmona C, and Cristian D. Martínez P.

UMapTool, DeepCo

In collaboration with DeepCo, we are developing a device that allows you to capture stabilized images and physical-chemical data underwater, during benthic surveys, and that generate geo-referenced 3D models of coral reefs. This tool will advance the use of photomosaics for the monitoring of coral reefs and other benthic ecosystems. DeepCo is a Colombian based research, development and innovation company specialized in robotics for underwater applications. They develop innovative, scalable and sustainable solutions, helping clients, partners and collaborators to be more competitive and sustainable.

Reef Science for coral reef conservation
DeepCo
Large-scale coral nurseries
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Dr. Laurie J. Raymundo, Whitney Hoot and others

Restoring Staghorn Corals and Ecosystem Services on Reef Flats in Guam, Micronesia

In this project, a collaboration with the University of Guam´s Dr Laurie Raymundo, we are proposing an innovative approach to restoring a key coral reef community—staghorn Acropora—which provide essential wave energy buffers for coastlines along Guam, Micronesia. These populations were severely impacted by a series of environmental events between 2013 and 2017, resulting in significant mortality. We outline a plan to upscale our pilot restoration efforts and undertake additional research to develop needed best practices that will assist restored coral community adaptation to projected future climate conditions. Our plan involves incorporating population genetics and environmental metrics into a holistic restoration strategy for this essential group of corals. We will use ocean nursery-cultured juvenile colonies to create genetically diverse populations at key sites to create a network of restored populations that can potentially interbreed, which will foster their sustainability over time. After consultation with Dr. Phanor Montoya-May, the project will utilize an established outplanting design that he has used and tested, and which has proven successful in upscaling restoration for coral reefs. Our goal is thus to restore staghorn communities at 20% live coral cover to a total area of 4.15 acres (1.68 hectares) over the three-year project, spread across three target sites. Corales de Paz will assist with tasks associated with the construction, installation, and stocking of mid-water rope nurseries, with large-scale out planting of nursery-grown corals, and with assessing the effectiveness of the intervention in Guam.

Dr Sarah Frias-Torres, Dr Kristen Marhaver, Dr Valery Paul and others

Caribbean Coral Disease Emergency Response

Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) is a new lethal disease. The disease is manifested as a rapidly expanding white ring of necrotic tissue on a coral colony. Early onset is detected in 8 high susceptible species with rapid progression, and total mortality ranging from one week for smaller colonies to complete mortality over 1-2 months for larger colonies. We are at a critical junction where we must act immediately to pilot an emergency rescue of what we can in advance of the disease, and take advantage of the coral reproduction advances to collect and cryopreserve biological material for future restoration efforts. The Southern Caribbean does not yet have confirmed SCTLD, providing a window of opportunity to preserve genetic diversity ahead of the outbreak. Consequently, we are monitoring the appearance of the disease in Colombia with underwater surveys undertaken regularly at Providencia Island, the northernmost inhabited territory of Colombia. We will also build a genetic back in the form of an underwater coral nursery  with adult fragments of the most susceptible species. This approach will be implemented as a proof of concept only in Belize and Colombia, to test whether ocean nurseries strategically located away from coral reefs and the downstream current effects can rescue corals effectively. If successful, this strategy could be used in countries without any infrastructure capacity for ex-situ coral husbandry in aquaria. Rapid action is warranted to preserve genetic resources before they are permanently lost.

Stony Coral tissue Loss Disease
Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Nature Seychelles

Dr Nirmal Shah, Paul Anstey, Chloe Shute and others

Nature Seychelles

Nature Seychelles is a leading environmental organisation in the Western Indian Ocean. It is the largest and oldest environment NGO in the Seychelles archipelago, where it is involved in environmental conservation and management. Motivated by slow post-bleaching recovery rates at Seychelles’ reefs, Nature Seychelles launched the USAID/GEEF/UNDP funded ‘Reef Rescuers’ project to restore the fringing coral reef within Cousin Island Special Reserve. The first-ever large-scale reef restoration project began in 2010 utilizing the ‘coral gardening’ concept. In 2011, fragments of healthy coral were collected, raised in underwater nurseries and then transplanted onto a degraded reef. Since 2011, 40,000 corals have been raised in underwater nurseries, of which over 24,000 were successfully transplanted, covering the area of a football field (5,225 m2) by 2014. Corales de Paz is collaborating with Nature Seychelles to share the knowledge and experience gained with this project and to asses and publish the long-term success of the project. Initial data demonstrates an increase in both coral recruit and fish densities following the intervention, highlighting the benefits of active reef restoration..

Dr Simone Montano, Dr Davide Seveso and others

Marine Research and Higher Education center

The Marine Research and High Education Center (#MaRHECenter) was officially inaugurated on 2009 in the Maldives. The purpose of the Center is to carry out research and teaching activities in the fields of environmental sciences and marine biology, science of tourism and human geography, to teach how to protect this fragile environment and its biodiversity, and how to use and manage its resources in a responsible way. Given that the Maldives is geographically very large and specious in terms of marine biodiversity, knowledge of “how to restore” the coral reefs in this region has considerable ecological importance. In order to fill this gap in knowledge the University of Milano-Bicocca and Corales de Paz have joint efforts to propose a timely coral restoration projects in Maldives. Since 2017, Corales de Paz and MaRHE have run three coral reef restoration training workshops that sparked several research projects for undergraduate and postgraduate students. You can read more visiting MaRHE´s website.

MaRHE
University of Milano-Bicocca

Latest News and Stories

Corales de Paz en la International Conference on Marine Science

Del 19 al 23 de noviembre del presente año se llevó a cabo, en la Universidad Nacional Sede Medellín, la Conferencia Internacional de Ciencias Marinas.
Read more

Vota por la restauración de arrecifes de coral en San Andrés y Providencia, Reserva de Biosfera Seaflower

El proyecto de restauración a gran escala de arrecifes coralinos que se viene implementando en las islas de San Andrés y Providencia, dentro de la
Read more

Helping make this goal a reality!

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

14.A. Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries