‘Super coral’ scientist dies in Hawaii at age 56

HONOLULU (AP) — Pioneering coral reef scientist Ruth Gates, who dedicated much of her career to saving the world’s fragile and deteriorating underwater reef ecosystems, has died. She was 56.

The University of Hawaii said Tuesday the researcher died in Honolulu on Thursday. She was diagnosed with brain cancer in May. Gates was the director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the university.

Gates, also the president of the International Society for Reef Studies, became known globally for her idea to speed up coral evolution and create more resilient reefs.

The Associated Press first wrote about her project to breed “super coral” in 2015. Her goal was to develop corals that could withstand the effects of climate change.

Gates’ work was featured in the 2018 Netflix documentary “Chasing Coral.”

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