Dr. Bert Hoeksema is a senior researcher at Naturalis, with a specialisation in coral research that goes back to 1983. Bert lived in the tropics for 10 years, where his broad interest in the richness of coral reefs has grown to become a life-long passion.
In addition to interactions between corals and other reef dwellers, scientist Bert Hoeksema is also interested in patterns of evolution. Why do the types of species in coral reefs in the Atlantic ocean and the Indo-Pacific differ so much from one another? As exotic species begin to move in to reefs around the world, this question lies at the foundation of many aspects of coral reef preservation. Bert’s research also has many ties to climate change and its effects on marine life.
Bert’s recent expeditions with the Curasub have shown that reefs around Curaçao go much deeper than scientists had previously thought. These deep reefs may act as refuges for species that are vulnerable to ocean warming or other stress factors in shallower waters. Bert looks forward to the coming expeditions to discover new species and determine depth records for known flora and fauna.