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Ruth Gates obituary

Marine biologist who pioneered research into the conservation of coral reefsRuth Gates, who has died aged 56 of complications following an operation, pioneered research into the breeding of "super corals" that are able to withstand rising sea temperatures resulting from global warming. Her work examined the traits that make some corals better survivors than others - with the aim of reinforcing those traits through selective breeding and then transplanting the more resilient corals on to damaged reefs. "I have watched some reefs disintegrate before my eyes," she said in 2016. "I just can't bear the idea that future generations may not experience a coral reef. The mission is to start solving the problem, not just to study it."Much of Ruth's work was based at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, where she had been director since 2015. Conducted with Madeleine van Oppen of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, her experiments were intricate and time-consuming, involving the collection of temperature-tolerant coral colonies from the field. Those individuals that did not bleach during natural bleaching events - when sea temperatures were high - then had their reproductive products collected in the laboratory after spawning. The offspring were raised and tested for improved temperature tolerance. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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