Background: Palmyra is a remote, uninhabited atoll in the Northern Line Islands, Central Pacific and is a National Wildlife Refuge and part of the Pacific Remote Island Areas National Marine Monument. Aside from military occupation in the 1940-50s, Palmyra has experienced minimal human impact. As such, Palmyra’s coral reefs are generally considered to be quasi-pristine (Sandin et al. 2008; Smith et al. 2016) and represent an ideal location to study global change in the absence of confounding local impacts such as fishing and pollution.

Sandin, S. A., Smith, J. E., DeMartini, E. E., Dinsdale, E. A., Donner, S. D., Friedlander, A. M., … & Pantos, O. (2008). Baselines and degradation of coral reefs in the Northern Line Islands. PloS one, 3(2), e1548. [pdf]
Smith, J. E., Brainard, R., Carter, A., Grillo, S., Edwards, C., Harris, J., … & Vroom, P. S. (2016). Re-evaluating the health of coral reef communities: baselines and evidence for human impacts across the central Pacific. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 283(1822), 20151985. [pdf]



Map of Palmyra Atoll with eight monitoring sites indicated (FR stands for sites located on the Fore Reef, while RT stands for Reef Terrace).









Click below to learn more about our Palmyra-based projects!

Current projects:

Long-Term Monitoring of Benthic Coral Reef Communities

Invasive Species Removal and Coral Restoration Experiment