Australian scientist Matthew Dunbabin designed a unique robot that can carry coral larvae and dispersed them on part of the Great Barrier Reef.
Dunbabin has teamed up with another scientist Peter Harrison, director of the Marine Ecology Research Center at Southern Cross University. Harrison collected the larvae from corals that had survived marine heat waves in 2016-2018. Together they have decided that these surviving larvae most likely have better ability to withstand the changing climate and actually flourish in warmer waters.
Pollution is heating up the planet and makes ocean waters inhospitable for coral. Scientists want to ensure the survival of these world’s reefs by cultivating more heat-tolerant corals.
“LarvalBot” efficiently delivers larvae onto the damaged reef areas which allows them to settle, and grow into corals after about 9 months, so that new colonies can be formed. The underwater robot can carry up to 100,000 coral larvae per mission, monitor water quality and the growth of coral reefs.
Continual degradation of reefs is devastating. Scientists need to learn how to restore these beautiful eco-sistems efficiently and quickly.