Exploring Paradise: A Summer of Research in Moorea

By Carly E. Karrick. In Moorea, Carly conducts research on microalgae that inhabit the coral species belonging to the Symbiodiniaceae family.


July 19, 2023

Hello everyone! I’ll be documenting my fieldwork in Moorea, French Polynesia, at the Gump Research Station. This summer, I’m spending a month in Moorea with three of my labmates. We’ll be working on four different projects, one of which is for a chapter of my PhD dissertation! I’m interested in microalgae that live inside reef-building corals in the family Symbiodiniaceae, so I’m performing a heat experiment to test whether environmental stress triggers shifts from asexual to sexual reproduction in the coral-associated Symbiodiniaceae.

Yesterday, I flew from Houston, Texas to Papeete, Tahiti. I stayed in a hotel in Tahiti overnight before taking the ferry from Tahiti to Moorea this morning. Unfortunately, it was pouring rain today, even though it’s the dry season in French Polynesia.

After we arrived at the research station, we spent a lot of time unpacking our six bags of research equipment! We’re getting organized to start working on our experiments tomorrow.

Bags with research equipment.

Read Carly's full blog here: https://carlykarrick.com/moorea-summer-2023/

Carly's trip was funded by the Expanding Horizons Scholarship, generously provided by alumnus Walter Loewenstern.