Coral Bleaching Automated Stress System


Coral Bleaching Automated Stress System (CBASS) –

A rapid system to determine standardized coral thermal thresholds in the field

Year Period Program Status
2024 9-17 Dec 2024 Download and APPLY OPEN

Researchers have recently identified a number of coral populations, reef regions, and coral genotypes with enhanced bleaching resilience. These are critical resources/targets for conservation and restoration in a changing climate. However, until recently, there was no standardized procedure for determining bleaching susceptibility and assessing populations, individuals, and regions for these resilient characteristics.

A portable experimental system termed CBASS (Coral Bleaching Automated Stress System) that allows determination of ‘ED50’ (effective dose) thermal thresholds within 11 to 18 hours has been recently developed. There is a suite of CBASS studies available now that show its applicability to reproducibly determine thermal thresholds for a large number of colonies as well as its utility as a standardized platform to assess factors affecting bleaching susceptibility or identify mechanisms underlying thermal resilience. Thus, CBASS assays are ideally suited to assay a large number of colonies for their thermal tolerance. Importantly, building instructions, run protocols, and analytical routines are freely and openly accessible. 

This workshop will be run by Prof. Christian R Voolstra and other leading experts in CBASS assays and diagnostics to present state-of-the-art methodological and analytical procedures. Besides learning how to run CBASS assays, we discuss integration of short-term diagnostic approaches to inform research and conservation efforts. 

This workshop is an intensive 9-day hands-on, in-water/out-of-water practical program and will take place from 9 to 17 December 2024 in MaRHE Center. The program includes a series of classroom lessons, training sessions, CBASS practical activities, and field activities including SCUBA diving and snorkeling in the reefs surrounding the island. Registrations are open until September 20th, 2024

In addition to learning how to run CBASS assays, the workshop touches on experimental design considerations, best practices, logistics, and analysis of CBASS data, including contextualization with environmental metadata.

After completion of the workshop, you will have gained the following skills:

  • Build your own CBASS assay and design CBASS experiments
  • Analyze CBASS thermal stress data using R
  • Learn about climate variables that affect coral thermal resilience and query climate databases 
  • Conduct standardized underwater coral transects using artificial intelligence-assisted analysis 
  • Improve your knowledge on coral identification
  • Provide standardized reporting of thermal stress experiment
  • Upload and query CBASS data using the database