Each summer, I participate in the CORALIUM activities collecting coral spawn for research and conservation. In 2016, I trained with the team of Dr Banaszak and Secore International for a month-long intensive course on coral sexual reproduction at the UNAM in Puerto Morelos. The following year, I initiated a coral spawn monitoring program with Akumal Dive Center, and made the first reported observation of coral spawning in Akumal. We collected gametes and fertilized them in a hotel room of the Hotel Akumal Caribe. (photo of buckets in hotel).
In 2018, the Coral Conservation Society provided a grant to build an on-site wet lab on the grounds of the hotel to support this work each summer.
Due to the pandemic, I was not able to travel to Akumal in 2020 and 2021. Instead, I worked with my friend at Quantum Web to create coralobserver, a web-based app designed to streamline data collection for coral spawning observations. The app is free and easy to use. If you would like to use it for your database or to contribute your data to the datasets being collected in the region to support the science, please try out the app.