Palmyra Atoll Research Consortium

Research

Palmyra Atoll offers unparalleled opportunities for integrative research into biodiversity and ecosystem function, as well as ocean and climate systems. Research activities at Palmyra Atoll range from small, single-researcher projects to large, multi-institutional initiatives. A sampling of some of the ongoing PARC research themes include:

  • tracking the movements of large animals, including manta rays, sharks, other reef fishes, seabirds, and endangered sea turtles
  • investigating the role of top predators (like sharks and snappers) in coral reef health, and comparing the ecology of heavily fished and unfished reefs
  • monitoring coral reef health in the face of coral disease, invasive species, climate change, and ocean acidification
  • characterizing Palmyra's unique terrestrial and marine biodiversity
  • understanding the ecology of Palmyra’s lagoons, including habitat use by resident species, parasite communities, food web structure, and land-sea ecosystem connections
  • monitoring rare seabird and coconut crab populations
  • removing invasive species (such as rats) and studying the resulting effects on island forest ecosystems
  • assessing ongoing hydrological and pollution impacts from historical military occupation