Maikani Andres, a marine science major at the University of Hawaii-Hilo and former Palau International Coral Reef Center intern, has returned to the Center for an internship with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI).

WHOI, a world-renowned ocean research institute, is visiting PICRC this spring for a coral reef research project and offered the internship to Andres through a competitive application process.

As an intern, Andres is working with researchers to investigate the effect of environmental conditions and natural selection on coral success in warming seawater. The project is focused on Porites lobata, or lobe corals.

She will assist researchers with collecting P. lobata colonies for spawning, rearing coral larva, and outplanting young corals onto nearby reefs.

“For this project, I expect to learn the techniques of spawning corals and rearing them. I expect to gain valuable knowledge about coral ecology in Palau given the environmental conditions they live in” said Andres.

Before attending the University of Hawaii-Hilo, Andres graduated from the Environmental/Marine Science program at Palau Community College, where she completed an internship with PICRC in 2018.

“I’m always excited to come back to PICRC and use what I’ve learned to study Palau’s amazing marine environment” continued Andres. “Now, this internship with WHOI is a special opportunity to work with international scientists, gain new skills and investigate how our coral reefs could be affected by rising sea temperatures.”

Andres’ internship began on April 18th and will last until May 22nd, 2022.

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