Research

To support our mission to conduct research that supports scientific and educational programs at iSustain; there are a number of ongoing research projects and new projects.

 

Long-term trends in coral and algae on Bonaire’s reefs

Since January of 2008; data have been collected at 10 sites in Bonaire using videography. The data from the ten sites are being analyzed to determine the extent of the decline in coral and increases in algae and rubble over the past decade. Other important factors such as coral disease and shifts in types of corals are being analyzed.

 

Long-term trends in reef fish communities

Abundance of commercially significant reef fish and parrotfish over the past decade are being determined from AGRRA data. Species are being grouped into size classes. Trends over time and length at first maturity is being analyzed for each species to understand the potential impacts of fishing

 

UV-light detection by reef zooplankton

Using light traps, we have been studying the response of zooplankton communities to different types of light at night; including UV. Studies have shown zooplankton respond to UV and that UV can harm zooplankton. We are interested in finding what members of the night zooplank

 

Reproductive aggregations of box jellyfish

Alatina alata is a box jellyfish species (cubazoan) that forms spawning aggregations eight-to-ten days after each full moon. From October 2015 to January 2016, we collected jellyfish using hand nets during spawning. Individuals were photographed, weighed and samples of gonads were collected to confirm gender in the laboratory.

 

Parasite on surgeonfish – historical and current distribution of the disease

Dark spots have been notice on surgeonfish in the Caribbean including Bonaire. We are studying the prevalence of the ocean surgeonfish disease on Bonaire and how this changes with time. Considering the important ecological role of surgeonfish as herbivors on the reef ecosystem, it is important to investigate the effects on surgeonfish populations and document the distribution of this condition which will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the disease.

 

Light and Motion Sensor program

iSustain is restarting a program that measures light and temperature at 10 sites along the west coast of Bonaire. Data for this program were collected for 7 years prior to the implementation of the sewage treatment facility. iSustain plans to re-establish the sensor arrays and deploy them during the summer of 2018.

This program was supported by dive community on Bonaire and the collection of data following implementation of the sewage treatment plant was a major objective of the original study. The photo is from Jones et al. 2008. 

 

 

 

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