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The Coral Reef Research Unit operates a cross-disciplinary approach utilising the expertise and experience of an international advisory board. Field research covers topics including the community ecology of coral reef systems, tropical seagrass beds, mangroves and fisheries. Economic and social science filed studies are also carried out in conjunction with biological and ecological studies, whilst coral ecophysiology research is carried out in state-of-the-art laboratories.

Based within the Biological Science School, University of Essex, there are several members of academic, research and technical staff associated with the CRRU. We also enjoy strong relations within the UK and with academics from the New Zealand, USA, Australia, Indonesia, Egypt and Honduras. The CRRU depends heavily on its advisory board when determining future research directions, collaborative grant maintained research and publication.

Currently the CRRU directs research within the three main centres of coral reef biodiversity, namely the Indo-Pacific, Caribbean and The Red Sea. This involves work with many organisations including Operation Wallacea UK, the Indonesian Institute of Science, the Honduras Coral Reef Foundation and The Suez Canal University, Egypt. The CRRU supports several PhD research candidates, MSc students and research officers.