Marine Biodiversity (MarineGEO)

  • MarineGEO
  • Dusk over the Carrie Bow Cay field station on the Belize Barrier Reef
  • Pacific Panama interidal
  • school of jacks, Pacific Panama
  • sergeant major fish over Pocollopora reef, Pacific Panama
  • Bittium snail grazing on eelgrass leaf
  • Erichsonella isopod on eelgrass leaf
  • Sabellid tube worm in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Principal Investigator

Biodiversity – the variety of species and habitats - is essential to healthy ecosystems and the people who depend on them. Experts estimate 1 million species are threatened with extinction without intervention, which would be catastrophic for ecosystems and people worldwide. MarineGEO’s work aims to understand how marine biodiversity and ecosystems work so we can keep them working.

As a global network of partners, we focus on ecosystems on the edge – of the sea and of major transformation. The nearshore coastal zone is where people and marine biodiversity concentrate and interact most. Coastal regions are also ground zero for climate change impacts on people via strengthening storms, sea level rise, salinization of water supplies, and changing fisheries.

Our approach to understanding how coastal ecosystems work is threefold:

  • Vital signs: We track changes through time using shared, standardized survey methods.
  • Diagnose change: We diagnose causes of change using experiments coordinated across regions.
  • Inform solutions: Through collaboration, we synthesize data into knowledge for informed solutions.

MarineGEO extends its reach by actively engaging in partnerships with other institutions and networks. These include the Zostera Experimental Network, a global collaboration working to understand biodiversity and functioning of seagrass ecosystems; the Reef Life Survey, a global coalition of scientists and citizen divers that have surveyed biodiversity at >2500 sites worldwide; the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network and others.

Learn more about MarineGEO.