Coral Health and Disease Assessment Workshop

Marine Research and High Education Center (MaRHE Center)
July 20, 2021
Magoodhoo Island, Maldives
Closing date
1st October 2021


The Marine Research and High Education Center (#MaRHECenter) is a marine field station devoted to carry out research and teaching activities in the fields of marine sciences and marine biology, science of tourism and human geography, with the common mission of protect this fragile environment and its biodiversity.

Coral reefs are complex and productive ecosystems that encompass the highest biodiversity of any marine ecosystem. Sadly, they are also one of the world's most endangered ecosystems and among the most heavily degraded. They are a very fragile environment that over the last several decades has experienced increasingly stressful conditions due to a combination of natural and anthropogenic factors. Coral diseases represent one of the most serious threats to reef ecosystems. The Caribbean has long been considered a coral disease “hotspot” but disease has now emerged as a problem for coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Despite the increasing number of studies reporting on diseases affecting corals and other marine taxa worldwide, the effort to investigate Indo-Pacific coral diseases has been, until now, disproportionately low, especially considering that the Indo-Pacific hosts 91% of the world’s coral reefs. Lack of disease studies is especially concerning in areas such as the Republic of Maldives that consists entirely of coral reefs. Numerous regions around the world lack basic information on the health of their coral reef ecosystems hampering the capacity for managers to effectively tackle threats. This workshop was designed to address this need by training interested students, managers, and biologists in identification, understanding and management of coral diseases.

Workshop outline

This is an intensive 8-day hands-on, in-water practical program. The training will focus on coral reef health assessment in the field with activities aimed to help students understand the importance of health monitoring in coral reef ecosystems, threats to coral reefs, field and laboratory methods used to assess coral reef health, their advantages and limitations, and management practices that can help reefs become more resilient. After completion of this training, you will be able to:

  • Improve your knowledge on coral biology and ecology
  • Have an appreciation of the disease investigation concept and tools to investigate wildlife diseases
  • Have an appreciation of general health of reef organisms (turtles, fish, echinoderms, corals)
  • Identify corals found in the Maldives to genus level
  • Understand the status of coral reefs and the threats from disease
  • Improve your knowledge in the proper description of lesions in corals
  • Implement a survey and apply investigative techniques to assess coral health
  • Improve your in-situ identification and description of coral lesions
  • Improve your knowledge of sample collection and processing techniques for histopathological and microbial studies
  • Assess the need for coral histopathology during disease studies
  • Improve the interpretation of coral histology slides

At the end of the Coral Health and Disease Assessment Workshop – the University of Milano-Bicocca will release a digital certificate –Open Badge – to recognize the participant’s skills and achievements on coral reef restoration (Coral Restoration Technique). For more details, please visit: and

How to Apply

To proceed with the registration, you have two options:

Option 1 - you can complete the questionnaire through the following link:

After completing the questionnaire, we ask you to send an email to the address specifying in the subject: "Name Surname – Registration Coral Health and Disease Assessment 1st Edition".

Option 2 - you can confirm your registration by e-mail by sending a completed registration form (Download the form here ) to and

For both options we kindly ask you to send us a good quality scan of  your passport and your CV.

IMPORTANT: You will need to wait for confirmation from us before proceeding with the payment of the first instalment and the purchase of a flight. The maximum number of participants for the workshop is 16.  The deadline for registration is 1st October 2021.

Workshop overview: Simone Montano –

Project coordinator: Elena Cotugno –

MaRHE Center:

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