Collegiality, communication, and sharing science

The breadth and scope of Project Phoenix requires international collaboration, particularly given current restrictions on international travel.

Progress in coral taxonomy also depends on sharing material as widely as possible.

Consequently, it is the aim of Project Phoenix to share all resources, in particular, images of the types and copies of the original descriptions. Indeed, we encourage all those involved in coral taxonomy to do likewise. Progress in coral taxonomy depends on making all the type material available so individuals can make their own decisions on the identity of the species they are working with. Careful re-examination of type material combined with molecular phylogenetics is showing that many of the taxonomic decisions in previous revisions based solely on morphology need to be revisited using an integrated approach with multiple lines of evidence. Project Phoenix aims to provide the tools to allow researchers to make their own decisions on the identities of coral species. This is particularly important given that most regions support more unique coral faunas than previously thought. By providing these tools we aim to empower anyone with a sound knowledge of their local fauna to identify and study corals in their region of interest, rather than relying on decisions made using an entirely different fauna.

Therefore, the focus of Project Phoenix is to teach coral taxonomy rather than coral identification. To this end, we have now run workshops at a number of locations around the world including:

  • The University of Kuala Terengganu in March 2018
  • The University of the Philippines in February 2020

[Images of the workshops, in Malaysia (left) and the Philippines (right)]

You can find resources made available through Project Phoenix on this website under the RESOURCES page. All downloadable work posted on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. We also continue to update the list of external websites that we find informative.