Archana Anand, 2018 National Geographic Young Explorer studies water quality and human-impacted coral reefs

Apr 03rd 2018

Archana Anand, recently named 2018 National Geographic Young Explorer is a PhD candidate at the Swire Institute of Marine Science. Her research interest is water quality and its impact on biodiversity and ecosystem function in human impacted coastal marine environments. Her work is linked to the Smithsonian Institution’s Marine Global Earth Observatories (MarineGEO) program. Today, Archana spends her time studying coral communities in Hong Kong under the overarching theme “Reefs of the past, present and future” in Dr. David Baker’s lab at the School of Biological Sciences. To do this, one of the methods she uses involves the deployment of mini-apartment like blocks (ARMS) on the seabed for 1-2 years. Upon retrieval, she collects and identifies everything that colonises the ARMS to estimate biodiversity and identify vulnerability to human perturbations. Complementary to her efforts to quantify biodiversity, Archana also uses novel yet simple assays to quantify services rendered by coastal marine ecosystems. Archana will visit India to study the impact of global change on coral reefs in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This work is supported by the National Geographic Young Explorer Award. Archana is very excited to be part of the Nat Geo community and help in coral reef conservation efforts to mitigate climate change impacts.