coral morphologic header


Author Archive

‘One Strange Rock’ Teaser

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

We are psyched to share Coral Morphologic is a contributor of coral & marine life footage to the Darren Aronofsky-produced, Will Smith-hosted National Geographic television series One Strange Rock. Filmed in space & locations across 45 countries, the series explores the fragility & wonder of planet Earth from the perspective of eight astronauts who spent time onboard the International Space Station.

The 10-episode series debuts March 26, 2018; watch the teaser above.

International Year of the Reef

Monday, January 1st, 2018

2018 is the International Year of the Reef, a world-wide initiative enacted by the ICRI to strengthen awareness globally about the value of, and threats to, coral reefs. Learn more about #IYOR2018 with an immersive Google Earth Voyager Story.

Miami Beach Staghorn Coral Survey – Pre & Post-Hurricane Irma

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

One of the last tasks we took on before securing our laboratory prior to Hurricane Irma was check on the health of a community of endangered staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) just offshore Miami Beach. This community is one of the few remaining nearshore populations of these corals in Florida, and has proven to be more resilient than populations further south in Biscayne National Park, which have suffered from diseases in recent years. Because these staghorn corals along Miami Beach are growing on flat, hard seafloor, we knew that they were going to be subjected to significant wave energy during Hurricane Irma.

When we finally had a chance to survey the damage this past week, we sadly found that most of the staghorn colonies had been smashed to bits. Fortunately, many of the broken pieces of coral survived the maelstrom and have already begun cementing themselves back down to the sea floor and developing healthy new growth tips. While hurricanes can be exceptionally damaging to coral reefs, asexual fragmentation of corals due to these storms is also an important way they can colonize large areas of substrate. As unfortunate as it is to see this damage, based on what we observed post-hurricane offshore Miami Beach, we can expect new colonies to form, and thickets of these endangered corals will return once again.

‘Coral Orgy’ Retrospective

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

Thanks to everyone that attended the CORAL ORGY as part of the 10th Borscht Film Festival this past Friday, February 24th at the New World Center on Miami Beach. CORAL ORGY was a site-specific audiovisual collaboration by Coral Morphologic and Animal Collective on the cosmic secrets behind the sexual reproduction of corals. Coral Morphologic proposes that unlocking the secrets of coral reproduction is a culminating achievement in humankind’s quest for colonization of planet Earth, and a first step towards restoring a healthy biosphere.

Animal Collective performed an hour of new music inspired by the reefs while Coral Morphologic projections painted a cosmic world of fluorescent coral inside the Frank Gehry-designed concert hall.

Read reviews of the event here: Creators & Miami New Times.

We are grateful to have been able to include footage of one of the first predicted stony coral spawns in captivity from Project Coral at the Horniman Museum. This advancement in coral reproduction (led by aquarist Jamie Craggs) is evidence that humanity is finally crossing this all-important milestone at just the critical juncture when the world’s coral reefs are ailing most. We are proud to support the work of SECORE and the Coral Restoration Foundation, and were thrilled to be able to display their footage of corals spawning in nature across the New World Center’s 7,000 square foot video projection wall in Soundscape Park prior to the main event.

Coral Morphologic Joins the Mission Blue Sylvia Earle Alliance

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Coral Morphologic is proud to announce a partnership with Mission Blue, an alliance of conservationists founded by Dr. Sylvia Earle, with the shared goal of exploring the ocean and engendering empathy for Earth’s marine life. By joining the Mission Blue network, we look forward to helping advance Mission Blue’s goals, including increasing marine protected areas (Hope Spots) around the globe 20% by 2020, developing sustainable fisheries, and reducing oceanic pollution. Coral Morphologic is committed to educating the public and building new paradigms around the value of the ocean and its essential role as Earth’s life support system.

Please explore Mission Blue’s website and watch the eponymous 2015 documentary about Dr. Earle “Mission Blue” on Netflix.

New Species of Coral Discovered on PortMiami’s Seawall Contains a Powerful Anti-Cancer Drug

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

These Palythoa sp. zoantharians contain a remarkably potent chemical, palytoxin, proven to selectively destroy cancerous cells.

Several years ago we were excited to report that our survey of Zoantharian soft corals from South Florida had resulted in the identification of several undescribed species. Today, we are even more excited to report that one of these Palythoa species zoantharians, collected off the PortMiami seawall, contains an extremely powerful compound with proven anti-cancer properties. Coral Biome, our partners in Europe, have officially received a patent for the chemical’s extraction and application in the treatment of cancer and other serious diseases. From Coral Biome’s inception in 2011 in Marseilles, France, we have been assisting them in the collection, identification, and aquaculture of soft corals that produce medically-valuable chemicals, a process known as ‘bioprospecting’.

(more…)