Coral 'Whisperers' Diagnose Reef Pollution Woes
Sonia Van Gilder Cooke
Source: New Scientist
February 24, 2011
"Robert Richmond never meant to go to court. Yet there he was before a judge on the Micronesian island of Yap in the Pacific Ocean.
The coral forensics expert at the University of Hawaii was testifying in a case brought by Yap's tribal elders against the owner of the Kyowa Violet cargo ship, which in 2002 had slammed into a reef just outside Yap's main harbour, spewing 200,000 litres of oil into the lagoon.
The elders had turned to Richmond to find out whether the spill had damaged the reef even in areas that were not visibly oiled. As a member of Coral Whisperer, a pioneering project which applies the concepts of personalised medicine to coral reefs, he was the perfect choice."
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