Coralium: Integrative Reef Conservation Research Lab
Coralium is a multidisciplinary team that works in collaboration with government institutions and organizations to actively conserve and restore coral reefs in the Mexican Caribbean.
Their project is carried out at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), in Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo. The group has been researching the basic reproductive biology of various coral species and their use in reef restoration projects since 2007 and developed the “Practical guide for restoration based on the production of coral sexual recruits with emphasis on Acropora palmata”.
They have been able to produce sexual recruits of several species of corals in the laboratory, which are now planted on degraded reefs or reefs damaged by ship groundings. To this end, they collaborate with national (UABC, UdeG, CIBNOR) and international (PSU) universities, governmental (CONANP, CONABIO) and non-governmental (SECORE International) institutions, as well as businesses (Experiencias Xcaret) and professional aquarists (Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Baltimore National Aquarium) to optimize the use of sexual recruits from corals in reef restoration to serve large scale areas and at remote sites.
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“To raise a child, it takes a village. To restore a reef, it will take many villages.”
Dr. Anastazia Banaszak, photobiologist and researcher at the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology of UNAM