Professor Aranda gives an overview of the challenges coral reefs are facing due to rapidly changing climate. He explains the importance of coral reefs and the current loss of ecosystems. A major point of his talk is that technology can be developed, in time, to save coral reef ecosystems, but he draws upon each individual to help slow the pace of climate change.
Manuel's group studies corals and the mechanisms involved in regulating the symbiotic relationship they have with the photosynthetic algae that live in their tissues. His goal is to better understand why corals bleach in response to heat stress and to find ways to help them cope with climate change. He studies corals that live in very warm environments, such as the Red Sea, to understand how they managed to adapt to these conditions and to determine if the underlying traits and mechanisms could be harnessed to help corals in other regions. Manuel is a Spaniard born in Germany and has lived with his family at KAUST for the past 7 years.