When people think of coral reefs, they might imagine snorkeling in warm Caribbean waters. But corals also live in the Gulf of Maine and in some of the most extreme environments on Earth, including the Arctic and Antarctic.
Rhian Waller, associate professor of marine sciences and a National Geographic Explorer, dives deep in near-freezing water around the world to learn about what she calls the rainforests of the ocean. She examines how climate change, fishing and oil exploration affect their ecology and reproduction. And she studies the effects that their altered life cycle might have on the marine ecosystem and the planet.