Understanding the factors influencing coral reefs has been the life work of MCR investigator Mark Hay, the Teasley Professor in the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. During the past 35 years, he's made more than 5,000 dives, worked weeks at a time underwater in both the Caribbean and Pacific – and each year spends as much as five months with villagers on the islands of Fiji.
On November 7, Dr Hay received the Lowell Thomas Award from the New York-based Explorers Club, which cited his pioneering of innovative and effective new approaches for coral reef conservation. A representative of the Explorer's Club stated, “Dr. Hay’s research and discoveries have influenced the foundations in the field of marine chemical ecology and created new procedures for effective conservation and management of the world’s coral reefs."