Biology Faculty Articles


Critical Research Needs for Identifying Future Changes in Gulf Coral Reef Ecosystems


David A. Feary, University of Technology - Sydney, Australia
John A. Burt, New York University - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Andrew G. Bauman, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia
Shaker Al Hazeem, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research
Mohamed A. Abdel-Moati, Ministry of Environment - Qatar
Khalifa A. Al-Khalifa, Ministry of Culture - Bahrain
Donald M. Anderson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Carl Amos, University of Southampton - United Kingdom
Andrew Baker, University of Miami
Aaron Bartholomew, American University of Sharjah - United Arab Emirates
Rita Bento, Emirates Diving Association; University of Porto - Portugal
Georgenes H. Cavalcante, Universidade Federal de Alagoas - Brazil
Chaolun Allen Chen, Academia Sinica - Taipei, Taiwan
Steve L. Coles, Bishop Museum; Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology
Koosha Dab, Beheshti University - Tehran, Iran
Ashley M. Fowler, University of Technology - Sydney, Australia
David George, Natural History Museum - London, United Kingdom
Edwin Grandcourt, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Ross Hill, University of New South Wales - Sydney, Australia
David M. John, Natural History Museum - London, United Kingdom
David A. Jones
Shashank Keshavmurthy, Academia Sinica - Taipei, Taiwan
Huda Mahmoud, Kuwait University
Mahdi Moradi Och Tapeh, Urmia University - Iran
Pargol Ghavam Mostafavi, Islamic Azad University - Tehran, Iran
Humood Naser, University of Bahrain
Michel Pichon, James Cook University - Townsville, Australia; Museum of Tropical Queensland - Australia
Samuel J. Purkis, Nova Southeastern UniversityFollow
Bernhard Riegl, Nova Southeastern UniversityFollow
Kaveh Samimi-Namin, Naturalis Biodiversity Center - The Netherlands; Iranian National Institute for Oceanography - Tehran
Charles R. C. Sheppard, University of Warwick - United Kingdom
Jahangir Vajed Samiei, Iranian National Institute for Oceanography - Tehran
Christian R. Voolstra, KAUST (King Abdullah, University of Science and Technology)
Joerg Wiedenmann, University of Southampton

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Marine Pollution Bulletin


Persian Gulf, Arabian Gulf, Coral reefs, Expert, Assessment, Research gap







First Page


Last Page



Expert opinion was assessed to identify current knowledge gaps in determining future changes in Arabian/Persian Gulf (thereafter ‘Gulf’) coral reefs. Thirty-one participants submitted 71 research questions that were peer-assessed in terms of scientific importance (i.e., filled a knowledge gap and was a research priority) and efficiency in resource use (i.e., was highly feasible and ecologically broad). Ten research questions, in six major research areas, were highly important for both understanding Gulf coral reef ecosystems and also an efficient use of limited research resources. These questions mirrored global evaluations of the importance of understanding and evaluating biodiversity, determining the potential impacts of climate change, the role of anthropogenic impacts in structuring coral reef communities, and economically evaluating coral reef communities. These questions provide guidance for future research on coral reef ecosystems within the Gulf, and enhance the potential for assessment and management of future changes in this globally significant region.


©2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Additional Comments

NERC grant #: NE/K00641X/1




B-8552-2013; F-8807-2011



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