How an Accident Showed a Veteran Marine Biologist How to Regrow Coral Faster Than Ever Before

Filmmaker David Friedman of AARP Studios profiled marine biologist Dr. David Vaughan, a dedicated veteran marine biologist at the Mote Marine Research Laboratory in Summerland Key, Florida. Years into his career, Vaughn accidentally discovered a new method for growing coral for reef restoration at a much faster rate than ever before. This concern particularly topical, as coral helps to provide clean air to the planet, assist in treating illnesses and helps to balance the acidity of the ocean. This unexpected discovery has also given Vaughn a new lease on life.

I actually grow coral for planting back out on the reef. It’s been coined as my eureka moment or eureka mistake, where I broke a coral into tiny pieces and I thought it was gonna die and be very stressed. And instead, it grew like the dickens. Each of these, in just a few months, grow to the size that would have taken a few years. It was after that accident that I knew that we could restore reefs, and it was really a new lease on life, and a new brightness of what this whole career in coral research could do.