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 Brain Coral
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"Brain Coral"

November 10, 2011
"Brain Coral," by Michael Yiran Ma, graduate student, Duke University. All around the world, coral reefs are suffering the devastating effects of bleaching due to oceanic pollution and rising water temperatures. As the building blocks of tropical seas, reef ecosystems have been stressed to the point of rejecting their necessary symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic zooxanthellae (unicellular flagellate protozoa), and thereby lose their coloration. I took this black and white photo of a partially bleached brain coral three miles off the shore of Roatan, Honduras, to illustrate the very real effects we have on our environment. This image was awarded third place and people's choice in the "Envisioning the Invisible" 2010 Mahato memorial event photo contest, organized by the engineering graduate student council at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University. The event, which will be annual, honors Abhijit Mahato, a former Duke engineering graduate student who was tragically murdered in 2008. Further information about the contest and pictures of other winning entries and submissions is available Here. (Date of Image: November 2008)