In collaboration with Prof. Debashish Bhattacharya of Rutgers University, we will dive even deeper into Montipora coral (known locally as cabbage coral). With Dr. Bhattacharya’s team, we will add “metabolomics” as well as gene expression (“transcriptomics”) to this investigation.
Metabolomics is the study of small molecules (metabolites) which are the result of genetic expression; the latter is referred to as transcriptomics. Metabolites include biomolecules like hormones and stress chemicals. We are interested in looking at hormones that control reproduction and chemicals that indicate stress. The sex hormones will help us understand the reproductive cycle of Montipora.
We are excited to collectively develop techniques for on-site sampling using apps that allow us to read samples while on the Atoll! Local youth will also have the opportunity to learn sampling techniques & utilize these field instruments.