Underwater Coral Sample Collection Process

To collect samples for research, the scientists must spend time in the sea searching for coral colonies that show abnormal growths. Each day, we suit up and collect our materials and head out to sea with snorkels and masks hoping to collect samples from a total of ten colonies. When one is identified, a photo is taken to document the size and GPS coordinates. Next, Francois Seneca chips away 2 pieces from the colony – one of the healthy coral and one of the diseased coral. He then stores the samples in separate bags pre labeled 1-10 for both healthy and diseased samples. Next, he repeats the process with a new colony.

Here’s a video that shows what that process looks like.