Curieuse Island, Seychelles, Indian Ocean — In 1979, Curieuse Island and its surrounding waters were declared a Marine National Park by the Seychelles in order to protect the native wildlife. Today it is home to a diverse array of habitats, ranging from open grasslands to tall lush woodland to a species-rich coastal ecosystem. Your help in studying the reef and the coastal ecosystem will allow researchers to provide invaluable data to the Seychelles government, to the local community, and to conservation groups, engaging them in promoting the importance of these coastal habitats. This study’s findings will form recommendations for the effective management of these areas.
Meet the Scientists
Dr. David J. Smith
University of Essex, UK
Born in 1972, Dr. Smith holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. and is currently a senior lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Essex. He is Director of the Coral Reef Research Unit and of the Marine Research Operation Wallacea, is senior advisor to the Institute of Marine Environmental Research in the Aegean Sea, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. He is a PADI Dive Master and BSAC advanced diver (CMAS three-star) with 4,000 logged dives. Dr. Smith’s research interests include coral reef distribution, diversity and productivity, particular types of corals and coral reef fish, the phenomena of coral bleaching, the economic and social values of coral reef systems, and the use of traditional ecological knowledge in sustainable biodiversity management.
Dr. David Suggett
Cambridge University, UK
Born in 1974, Dr. Suggett holds a BSc, MSc, and Ph.D., and was a Research Fellow and is currently a Lecturer in Marine and Freshwater Biogeochemistry at the University of Essex. He is Assistant Director of the Coral Reef Research Unit, the Scientific Advisor for a Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS) project, and has served as: scientific research co-coordinator for the Kefalonian Marine Turtle Project; scientific adviser for MEDASSET (Mediterranean Association for Sea Turtles); manager and scientific director of Pacuare Nature Reserve, Limón Province, Costa Rica. Dr. Suggett is a PADI Advanced Diver. His research interests include sea algae and sea grasses, symbiotic algae, the responses of coral species to environmental changes, and sea turtle ecology and behavior.
Miss Philippa Mansell
Pippa holds a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and Oceanography (University of Plymouth). She is currently undertaking a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at the Coral Reef Research Unit (CRRU, University of Essex) establishing networks between coral reef researchers, industry and education focused organizations. She is Director of an Indonesian NGO that manages scientific expeditions at a research facility in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia and has been site manager and Indonesian coordinator for expeditions in this area for 5 years. She has also served as CoralWatch Project Manager at the University of Queensland and been a Research Officer at Lizard Island Research Station in the Great Barrier Reef. She has attended 15 diving based expeditions, leading 5 and has logged 650+ scientific dives. Key research interests include coral reef ecology and conservation.
Patrick (‘Paddy’) Brading holds a BSc in Zoology (University of Nottingham) and an MSc in Marine Biology (University of Essex). He is currently undertaking a PhD, under the supervision of Dr. David Suggett and Dr. David Smith, at the Coral Reef Research Unit (CRRU, University of Essex). His PhD research focuses on the effects of ocean acidification on coral productivity and growth. This research encompasses a number of fields including the photophysiology of scleractinian coral zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium spp.), coral bleaching, calcification and the acclamatory response of reef-building corals and their symbionts to environmental shifts. Previous research experience includes a season with Operation Wallacea at their marine station in Indonesia, working as a research assistant for James Cook University at their Lizard Island research station in Australia and 2 months working with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, in Cairo. Paddy has 8 years diving experience in temperate and tropical waters.