CSUN RSCA supports octocoral surveys by marine biology grad students

CSUN graduate students Kiran Reed and Elizabeth Burns are conducting octocoral population surveys in along the Coast of Southern California as part of a CSUN Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity grant awarded to adjunct professor Georgios Tsounis. The team collects data to correlate descriptors of population structure with proxies for environmental conditions that may reveal trends for these little known local corals. Octocorals, also called gorgonians, soft corals or seafans are often overlooked habitat providers for fish and invertebrates, and preliminary data suggest they may be more resilient than other benthic ecosystem engineer taxa.

Header image: A gorgonian colony photographed near Australia (John Turnbull, Flickr)