Today we learn from Matt Tietbohl about corals and whale sharks in the Red Sea
Have you ever wondered the state of all of the Oceans? We often here stories, articles and research coming from all parts of the Ocean (Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Antarctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Labrador Sea, etc.); however, it’s rare to hear about the Red Sea. Well, I am pleased to say that we are now going to talk about the Red Sea thanks to Matt Tietbohl, who is doing his Masters Thesis at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).
Matt is originally from a small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania growing up in the outdoors surrounded by lush forests and lakes/rivers where he would explore the wild searching for new creatures under rocks and in crevices. Fast forward to high school where he took a trip in his Junior year to Jamaica on a school trip to explore the Ocean for the first time, followed by a second trip giving you Matt, the young man who now wanted to become a Marine Biologist.
His undergraduate experience did not expose him to much Marine Biology; however, one course gave him an assignment that would change his outlook on Marine Biology and life in general. Matt had to review a journal article and present his findings to the class. His paper? A study from KAUST.
Matt came across this person’s name when searching for something to do in the year he wanted to take off from school before doing graduate school. He contacted the chief scientist of the lab about an internship and ended up doing a Masters degree (funny how things can change with a phone call).
Now Matt lives in Saudi Arabia surrounded by the culture of his host country as well as international students from all over the world.
Matt’s thesis is on tracking the types of algae and plant matter herbivores, who live on reefs, eat to identify functional diversity to direct future management of Red Sea Coral Reefs.
Listen to the podcast to find out more about Matt’s research and life at KAUST.
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Links To Resources Discussed in This Podcast
- Matt’s Twitter
- KAUST Twitter
- Kaust Discovery: The first Genome of a Coral Reef Fish
- Red Sea Research Center
- Reef Ecology Lab
- Whale Shark research in the Red Sea
- Berumen on coral bleaching
- The Smithsonian’s article: Is It Too Late to Save Red Sea Sharks?
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