W&L’s Greer Featured in bioGraphic Magazine Article about the Coral Gardens Reef Professor Lisa Greer has been taking students to Belize since 2011 to study the thriving reef corals located there.
Lisa Greer, professor of earth and environmental geoscience at Washington and Lee University, is prominently featured in a recent article published in bioGraphic Magazine, an independent, nonprofit online magazine that showcases the wonder of nature and the most promising approach to sustaining life on Earth.
In the article, titled “Reef Refugia,” author Lisa Gardiner follows Greer and a collection of scientists and students in December 2022 as they study and research the thriving staghorn corals present in a reef known as Coral Gardens located near San Pedro in Northern Belize. While 98% of staghorn coral colonies have died in the region due to a variety of pressures, including climate change, declining water quality and fishing practices, this reef is thriving.
Greer has been visiting the reef biannually since 2011 to monitor its health and analyze environmental data from the site that will assist scientists in understanding what factors allow corals to thrive in that location, and to determine whether its resilience could help save other affected reefs.
“Having Lisa Gardiner, a journalist and book author, with us in the field was deeply rewarding,” said Greer. “We need science, but the impact of science grows with communication to a broader audience. I am so grateful that bioGraphic chose to highlight this unique and inspiring reef.”
Greer first joined the W&L faculty in 2003 as an assistant professor. She was promoted to associate professor in 2009 and full professor in 2015. She is also a core faculty member for the environmental studies program. Greer holds a Bachelor of Arts in geology from Colorado College and a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Miami.
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