Feature Friday: Coretta Granberry

Hi, Coretta Granberry! Welcome to Reefbites. 

Youtube; Twitter: @CorettaGberry

Coretta is currently pursuing a B.A. in Marine Science at Boston University. Her research focuses on images of coral reefs from the Central Pacific to monitor reef health. Read more about Coretta’s work below! 

Give an elevator pitch of what your projects are about.

The Phoenix Islands Protected Area has some of the most remote coral reefs in the world, so my research in the Rotjan Lab at BU is looking at how these reefs are being affected by a changing environment through time while being far from the direct effects of humans. This project makes up 8 islands of the 100 Islands Challenge (led by Stuart Sandin from Scripps Institution of Oceanography), which aims to describe the variation of coral reefs from across the globe.

Why is this project important and timely?

Using imaging and data technology, we can track how coral reefs in the Central Pacific are changing over time, and keep a digital archive of what they look like over the years. This is important because most of the world’s reefs are declining at unprecedented rates, and we have the ability to study multiple years’ worth of taxonomic and spatial data in extreme detail and in a relatively short amount of time. 

What is the broader impact and implication of your work?

Using this technology, we can better understand reef disturbance and recovery or degradation and monitor it over time. Given how quickly reefs have disappeared over the last few decades, before we know it these precious ecosystems could all be gone. This method of reef monitoring allows us to work on reefs even when we are not in the field, and makes this remote underwater ecosystem more accessible year-round. Hopefully, this research will impact how marine protected areas are able to monitor and conserve valuable reef ecosystems. 

What is your top graduate school life hack or survival resource?

I’m not a graduate student, but my advice is to go to as many free guest lectures, visiting professors, and symposiums relevant to you as you can. And even if you’re shy, it is almost never a bad idea to introduce yourself to someone you want to talk to. At first, I always thought the speaker or scientist whose work I’ve read/heard about wouldn’t want to talk to me, but this is not true! From my experience, people love talking about their work, and it is such a great way to build your network. It’s harder to forget a name when there’s a face to go with it, and people are more readily available to work with or help people they’ve met in person before.

Any additional information or comments you would like to share?

Please email me at corettag@bu.edu or reach out to me on twitter @CorettaGberry if you have any questions, and thanks for reading my Feature Friday!

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