Exploring Reef Communities


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The purpose of this study centers on the coral community around the Poor Knights Islands, located off New Zealand. Situated just south of the Indo-Pacific warm pool, this community has been exposed to warmer than average temperatures over the past 30 years. Dramatic changes in water temperature stresses coral, making them more susceptible to disease and invasive species. Under ideal conditions, reef communities gradually accumulate species, reaching a peak in species diversity before becoming dominated by one or a few species.

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The Location

This research will be taking place off the coast of Northern New Zealand in the Poor Knights Island Reserve. Located about a 50 minute boat ride away from Tutukaka, the Poor Knights is a protected set of islands and coastline home to some incredible marine life, coral, and scenery. 

You can head over to New Zealand's site to find out more. 

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The Team

This research is being led by none other than our non-profit president, Katherine Crabill. She will be accompanied by several other team members to assist in the research process as well as documenting and producing content.

Katherine Crabill is a specialist in teaching and conducting research in the physical sciences. Obtaining her MS in Oceanography in 2017 from Texas A&M University, her professional experiences include teaching undergraduate oceanography courses at Texas A&M University, managing several physical science laboratories and assisting graduate students in research and presentations. Her current research interests combine her studies of the physical world and the influence of virtual reality to further knowledge and understanding for consumers of research.

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The Content

We hope to produce some stunning content while conducting research. We cannot wait to share it all with you, but in the mean time, National Geographic has some amazing underwater 360 content.