image on Ana Belen Yanez Suarez in the water with a galapagos fur seal behind her on the rocks

Ana Belén Yánez Suárez

National Geographic Explorer
PhD candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland

Ocean warming caused by climate change influences the expansion of areas of low oxygen concentration in the deep sea. This could threaten cold-water corals (CWC), important ecosystem engineers. The Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) has one of the world’s most pronounced oxygen minimum zones (OMZ) as well as some of the most biodiverse marine protected areas, the Galapagos and La Isla del Coco. The pristine deep sea surrounding these islands is home to diverse CWC. Given the expected expansion of the OMZ, we aim to understand whether CWC distribution, biodiversity and abundance across OMZ differ within and between Islands and identify the environmental factors that may support CWC resilience under low oxygen conditions. Using ROV SuBastian on board R/V Falkor (too), we collected video, coral samples and environmental data across the Islands. Preliminary observations reveal varying patterns of coral distribution related to abiotic oceanographic factors and large differences in the OMZ extension between islands.

This research will provide essential information to strengthen the development of a regional marine conservation corridor in the ETP currently under implementation and improve our understanding on CWC adaptation and vulnerability in the Pacific.


June 19, 2024


11 AM to NOON Pacific Time


7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039

Zoom webinar registration

In-person attendance is limited to staff and approved guests. The seminar will be presented in a hybrid format, you can register for the Zoom link here.