In May 2013 the International SeaKeepers Society initiated a weeklong research trip in the Dry Tortugas and Lower Florida Keys. Dr. Andrew Baker, Pew Fellow and renowned coral biologist with the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS), headed a team of scientists to collect coral tissue samples from a multitude of protected sites. Xaymara Serrano, a PhD candidate under Dr. Baker, obtained nearly 450 samples from two species of corals, Great Star Coral (Montastrea cavernosa) and Mustard Hill Coral (Porites astreoides). After collection, samples were taken back to Dr. Baker’s lab at RSMAS to look at the genetic similarities and differences among the tissue samples.
This trip signifies The International SeaKeepers Society’s first DISCOVERY Yachts expedition and would not have been possible without the Miss Phebe II’s generous donation of time, fuel and provisions.