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Cruise: Discovering Deep-Sea Corals Of The Phoenix Islands 2

Partner: Schmidt Ocean Institute

Chief Scientist: Randi Rotjan

Location: Phoenix Island Protected Areas (PIPA) is the largest and deepest of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and the first internationally recognized Marine Protected Area (MPA) to be established by a least developed nation – The Republic of Kiribati.

About: There are four overall goals of this expedition: 1) Continued exploration of the  Phoenix archipelago (both N and S of the equator) and unexplored ABNJ seamounts on the high seas, including mapping and benthic characterization of the corals, sponges, invertebrate associates, microbial diversity, and basic geology; 2) Investigation of ecological interactions between predators and prey, specifically corallivores and spongivores on corals and sponges; 3) Examination of deep-water sponge and coral immune systems, specifically in response to wounding from predation and their response to microbial challenges; 4) Outreach to broad audiences, especially with our Pacific Island collaborators.

Further details: see cruise webpage

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