Dr. Sangeeta Mangubhai: Coral Reef Ecologist

Dr. Mangubhai on location in Fiji.

Sangeeta Mangubhai is a scientist. She grew up in Fiji, an island country in the South Pacific. She was always near the water. Her family worked in the fishery.  She knew she wanted to help the plants and animals in the ocean.

Dr. Mangubhai is a coral reef ecologist. Corals, fish, starfish, octopus, jellyfish, and plants are part of the coral reef. She studies the way they depend on each other in their environment.

A coral reef in Fiji

Working in Fiji, Dr. Mangubhai studies the effect of warmer temperatures in the ocean. Pollution and heavy rainfall can also affect plants and animals in the ocean. Coral bleaching can make the coral get rid of its algae and turn white. Then the coral dies. This affects the other animals and plants that live in the coral reef.  

Dr. Mangubhai works on projects that watch the changes in the ocean. If people know how the ocean and coral reef are changing, we may be able to help in some way.  

Dr. Mangubhai also works to bring more women into the fishery. Watching her grandmother and aunt years ago let her know how important it is for women to be included. They are better able to feed and take care of their families.

What Can You Do? How can you help make sure the ocean stays healthy?

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Photo Credit: (t)Wildlife Conservation Society Fiji, (b)johnandersonphoto/iStock/Getty Images