Coral Bleaching Research Coordination Network Virtual Workshop 2020

July 16, 2020

Coral Bleaching Research Coordination Network Virtual Workshop 2020

Photo of Zoom meeting participants

Temperature stress is the single largest threat to coral reefs globally and the focal topic of the Coral Bleaching Research Coordination Network (CBRCN). Funded by the US National Science Foundation, the goal of the CBRCN is to work with the broader coral reef research community to develop a common framework for coral bleaching research over the course of three workshops, and to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborative team formation. Developing such a framework is key to facilitating comparisons among studies, sharing samples among research teams, and to facilitating large-scale data assimilation and meta-analysis. The work of the CBRCN will help to move the science of coral bleaching research forward faster and more efficiently – a goal that is more critical than ever given the chronic threats of climate change and the coral bleaching crisis.

On 30 June – 3 July 2020, the second workshop was held virtually via zoom. Though originally planned to be an in-person workshop in Germany, the steering committee was able to rapidly restructure the meeting structure to successfully be all virtual. Thirty investigators from the USA, Germany, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, and Bermuda met virtually to evaluate how we might optimize sharing of samples from ongoing coral bleaching experiments to facilitate new interdisciplinary collaborations, increase the number of possible downstream analyses, and optimize the information gained from each coral bleaching study. The workshop was a success. The group achieved all goals and the outlines of two manuscripts were developed during the workshop. With writing tasks assigned, the goal is to submit both manuscripts for publication by the end of the calendar year. A webinar outlining the findings of the workshop will be presented at a later date.

The Director of the CBRCN is Professor Andréa Grottoli. Steering committee members are Professors Robert Toonen, Robert van Woesik, Rebecca Vega Thurber, and Mark Warner. The workshop was further enhanced by the assistance of graduate students Rowan McLachlan, Kerri Dobson, and Emily Schmeltzer. For additional information, you can visit the CBRCN website or email Professor Grottoli directly at