@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

An Alumni Publication   Archive vol1no3 Contact
Up Front: Letters to and from the editor
Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors

The Long Goodbye
Drawing on Tribal      History
Celebrating Our Sun      God
Ask Jeeves

Making Waves

Iran and Nukes
Cover Up
Tough Toucan
Alient Ant Hitchhikers
Pod People
Reef Relief





Features May 2004: Volume 1, Number 2

Reef Relief


So how many species do you think inhabit the Earth’s coral reefs? Nancy Knowlton, a leading coral reef ecologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, says a “best guess” puts the number at somewhere between one million and nine million. And therein lies the problem, we can only guess. The reefs, which have been called the “rainforests of the sea,” are much less explored than their terrestrial counterparts. And yet they are among the Earth’s most threatened and fragile environments.

To address our gaps in knowledge and investigate various threats to reef health, Knowlton and colleagues have launched an unprecedented global census called CReefs. The new project is one of 17 programs in the Census of Marine Life, a global network of researchers in more than 70 nations engaged in a 10-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of life in the oceans.

In addition to traditional taxonomy, CReefs scientists will use new DNA technologies to speed up their ability to detect new species in samples of reef rock, sediments and water. The results will not only help researchers evaluate species numbers, but also will provide key information for reef management.

Contributors to Making Waves: Mario Aguilera, '89, Jessica Demian, Marnette Federis, '06, Rex Graham, Raymond Hardie and Kim McDonald.


Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD

Center for Marine Diversity & Conservation

CReefs News Release

"So how many species do you think inhabit the Earth’s coral reefs?"