Anastasios Stathakopoulos, Doctoral Candidate Oceanographic Center
“Providing scholarships for aspiring conservation researchers sows the seeds for a 1,000-fold return in preserving our planet’s future.” —Tom Gale Gale Foundation
Anastasios Stathakopoulos became involved in coral reef and reef life research to better understand humankind’s impact on these valuable and unique natural resources. With the proper knowledge and education through research, he believes that reasonable solutions can be implemented to reduce stress on coral reefs worldwide.
After graduation from Temple University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, the Philadelphia native became a research assistant at NSU Oceanographic Center’s National Coral Reef Institute, where he has continued his education, earning a master’s degree in biology. In the course of his NSU graduate studies, Stathakopoulos has surveyed and mapped coral reefs in Florida, Guam, and the Bahamas.
Now, as a Ph.D. candidate, he has chosen to do his dissertation on a hot topic: climate change and its effects on coral reef formation in Southeast Florida. The work consists of drilling core samples to understand how and when ancient coral reefs were formed, the environmental conditions at sea level in the recent past, and how this relates to modern times.
While Stathakopoulos receives tuition support as an NSU employee, the Gale Foundation helpfully stepped in to pay his salary for a year. “If it weren’t for that support, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn, conduct valuable research, and set myself up for a successful future,” he says.