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Max Bodmer

Ongoing at Open University

Location: Honduras

Interest: Marine

In the early 1980s populations of the Caribbean coral reef keystone herbivore, Diadema antillarum (the long-spined sea urchin), were decimated by disease. The associated loss of their essential ecosystem functions, coupled with their failure to recover from this catastrophic mass-mortality, is widely believed to be a significant contributing factor to the ubiquitous macroalgal phase-shifts that now plague reefs in the Caribbean. Throughout the course of his PhD, Max is trying to identify the barriers preventing the recovery of D. antillarum in order to provide practical conservation solutions that will help to restore urchin populations. He hopes that his efforts will help to stimulate coral reef recovery throughout the region, which will not only have beneficial ecological consequences, but will also serve to improve the socioeconomic circumstances of the many people that rely on Caribbean reef systems for survival.

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