Andra Whiteside

I am currently a first year Masters student enrolled in the Climate Change Program. I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science with a Biology emphasis and completed my postgraduate in Climate Change at USP.  My topic of interest lies in coral reef bleaching in relation to increased sea surface temperatures.

The broad objective of my research is to statistically analyse long-term trends and the recovery of hard coral cover since the 2000 mass bleaching event in Fiji. There are 3 specific objectives I wish to further look into:

  • To examine and compare the extent of bleaching took place in 2000 of the observed Fiji sites of Taveuni, Vatu-i-Ra and Suva Harbour.
  • To statistically analyse the long term trends of pre-bleaching and post-bleaching data in order to examine their rates of recovery.
  • To examine change and trends for sea surface temperature for Fiji and the effect it may have on coral reefs in the future.

With this research, I hope to identify the changes in hard coral cover that have taken place over a longer time frame (2000-2012), to identify resilient as well as vulnerable types of coral at different sites and what factors may play a contributing role to the fast or slow recovery of these reef systems. 

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