The Wakatobi Marine Biosphere Reserve, Hoga Island, Indonesia
CRRU has a long-standing tradition of research around Indonesia and, in 2004, the University of Essex agreed on a research Memorandum of Understanding with Hasanuddin University, Sulawesi.
Each year, a number of postgraduate students and academic staff travel to Indonesia to carry out experiments and field surveys on the coral reefs of Hoga Island, located within the Wakatobi Marine National Park (WMNP) where staff direct the ongoing research programme in collaboration with Operation Wallacea and Indonesian collaborators.
With support from CRRU researchers, the WMNP was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2012, with the aim of this research site remaining an international centre of research excellence. The WMNP is the second largest marine park in Indonesia and is located within the most species-rich seas in the world.
Current research activities include:
- The physiology of reef building corals
- The ecophysiology of corals living in marginal environments
- The stress physiology of corals and implications of acute and chronic environmental change
- Ocean acidification and its implications for reef growth, biodiversity and productivity
- Coral bleaching physiology.
Conservation and natural resource management
- Socio-Economic characteristics of dependent communities
- Natural resource management in small island communities
- The economic and environmentally-sustainable management of tropical coastal systems
- Ecosystem services provide by tropical seaweed farming
- Management of future reefs in response to acute and chronic environmental change
Tropical Marine Ecosystem Ecology
- The ecology of tropical reefs and connected systems
- Biodiversity and behavioural plasticity of tropical reef fishes
- Habitat utilisation of reef fish and implications of variable physical complexity
- The coral holobiont and its responses to environmental change