Malaysia's Super Corals

'Malaysia’s Super Corals' combines novel research with active coral restoration, in attempts to maximize restoration effectiveness and long-term outcomes in the wake of climate change.

To steer coral reefs through the upcoming decades, strategies seeking to maximize resilience need to be prioritized and restoration projects are required to build ‘climate resilient’ nurseries with heat tolerant corals.

We define ‘Super Corals’ as coral colonies with superior heat tolerance and possibly higher climate change survival. As coral reefs are particularly sensitive to intensive heat exposure imposed by warming oceans, a key issue in coral restoration is the identification and subsequent propagation of heat tolerant corals. We are integrating acute heat shock assays, termed as Coral Bleaching Automated Stress System (CBASS), to identify naturally resilient coral colonies and to harness natural resilience for restoration. We are seeking to elucidate signatures of phenotypic resilience to ocean warming, and are currently investigating how widespread such signatures are across reef sites and environments.

This project is championing the experimental identification of heat tolerance of Malaysian hard coral species in attempts to foster 'climate-resilient' restoration strategies, and to investigate drivers of thermal resilience more broadly across reef sites and environments.