Coral Adaptation Challenge

The Coral Reef Alliance and one of its loyal funders are pleased to announce a call for proposals for the Coral Adaptation Challenge.

At the recent International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawai‘i many speakers raised concerns about whether the rates of evolution by natural selection will be fast enough to keep up with the rate of current and future environmental change. The answer to the question of whether corals can adapt quickly enough is critically important for evaluating the merit of alternative conservation strategies.

The Coral Reef Alliance is seeking expert involvement in a project that is designed to synthesize this rapidly advancing area of research. Specifically, we propose to work with individuals or groups to answer the following question:

What is the probability that reef-building corals can adapt to rising temperatures by the year 2100?

The project has four phases:

  1. Individuals and/or groups submit proposals for how they would answer this question by October 6, 2016
  2. Three successful applicants will be selected by November 18, 2016, to receive a total of $18,000 each to conduct the proposed work
  3. All three applicants (or representatives from groups) plus additional experts in the field will convene in April 2017 to share and evaluate results, and develop a plan for disseminating findings through at least one peer-reviewed publication
  4. A manuscript is submitted for publication by August 2017

We are launching Phase I with a request for proposals. Successful proposals will:

  • Focus on synthesizing existing information, not collecting new data
  • Outline a mathematical framework that will provide an answer to this question using empirical parameter estimates whenever possible and justify when and why parameter estimates are based on expert judgment
  • Provide generalizable answers for corals around the world, rather than focusing on a single species or location

Any individual or group of collaborators may apply.

To apply:

  • Please submit a two-page proposal on or before 5pm PDT, October 6, 2016. Additional guidelines for the proposal can be found here
  • Proposals should be submitted to adaptation@coral.org

Please review the Call for Proposals carefully for further details. We encourage you to share this information with colleagues, educational institutions, and organizations.