Komodo & East of Flores with Dr. Rodney Salm, 19th June to 3rd July 2018

Dear Friends of the Seven Seas and the Coral Triangle

In adventuring to out of the way places, it is always so uplifting to see the colors, textures and vibrancy of healthy coral communities. We can experience some of the very best of this vibrancy in the Lesser Sunda Islands, in the heart of the Coral Triangle, from Komodo National Park in the West, to the islands East of Flores and beyond.

The Seven Seas will be organizing an epic expedition to this area, combining the Komodo and East of Flores itineraries in a 14 night trip from June 19th to July 3rd 2018 (yes, this year!). We will be exploring and experiencing a great variety of reefs along the journey from West to East, across the gradient from the warm and clear waters of the Flores Sea in the North, to the cooler and nutrient rich waters of the Indian Ocean and Savu Sea in the South.

What will be making this trip extra special is the opportunity of discussing the effects of climate change on these reefs with Dr. Rod Salm, coral reef ecologist with 50 years’ experience in marine conservation. Rod will accompany this trip that will start in the islands of the Komodo National Park, cover sites and stops along the North coast of Flores and explore the archipelago of islands and reefs East of Flores. Rod will point out the aspects of resilience to climate change that are characteristics of these reefs in the center of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Come along to enjoy the reefs, diverse cultures, and extraordinary seascapes on this cruise. And for those who are willing, Rod will lead some diving exercises and related discussions pertaining to understanding the effects of climate change and resilience to impact exhibited by the reefs that we will be diving.

Rod’s comments from his last trip with the Seven Seas: “Our trips aboard the vessel with its helpful crew are always great; but for a longtime observer of corals and their survival or demise in the tropical seas of the world, I keep searching for and celebrating areas where the coral communities display resilience to the stresses affecting reefs elsewhere. These areas stoke my optimism and keep hope for reef survival alive.” In addition, Rod also likes to study reefs that clearly have had problems and then think about the reasons – is this caused by heat stress, acidification, crown of thorns starfish encroachment, destructive fishing or a combination of all of these possibilities… Or is it maybe something else altogether?

Participants’ thoughts and input will be most valuable and could potentially be used to improve future field assessments of reef health and resilience as affected by climate change and other contributing factors. Hope you will join us!

Rod and the Seven Seas Team.



Rod was raised in Mozambique and has a Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University. He has 50 years’ experience working principally for WWF, IUCN, and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in international marine conservation and ecotourism. This work has taken him to remote parts of the Indian Ocean, Arabia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Arctic and Antarctic. Although now retired, Rod’s principal focus remains conserving coral reefs in the face of global change, including warming seas, ocean acidification, and escalating use and threats. He achieves this through his position as Senior Adviser Emeritus for TNC’s Pacific Division Marine Program and as a contributing member of the TNC Reef Resilience Network. Rod is the author of Marine and Coastal Protected Areas: A Guide for Planners and Managers. Published by IUCN in its third edition in 2000, this book serves as a widely consulted reference for researchers and experts on marine conservation. In 1999, Rod joined TNC to lead marine conservation in the Asia Pacific. His work had resilience to climate change as a principle focus and grew from the need for a field application response to coral bleaching in the western Pacific to a global program on coral reefs and resilience. In addition to development and stewardship of innovative science and management strategies for tropical marine ecosystems and species, Rod has played a strong role in training and mentoring conservation scientists from many countries and leading teams of citizen scientists to assess coral reef resilience as a contribution to local conservation efforts. Rod is based in Kailua, Hawaii.

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