Ann Money

Why do corals fluoresce – and will it save them?

It may be surprising to hear that a landlocked state like Oklahoma has a renowned aquarium that conducts cutting-edge research funded by the National Science Foundation. The Oklahoma Aquarium has the only exhibit of bull sharks in the entire Western Hemisphere and recently successfully hatched an endangered zebra shark. Ann Money, Director of Education and Research at the aquarium, is conducting research on the functionality of bio-fluorescence in coral animals that’s funded by the NSF. She’ll describe the surprising phenomena and how her experiments and results can be used to identify heartier strains of coral that may be more resistant to rising sea temperatures.

Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, marine habitats and issues affecting these habitats have been Ann Money’s passion since childhood. Ann has dedicated her career to education and research, from the Bering and Red Seas to the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. The past 19 years have been spent inland at the Oklahoma Aquarium as the Director of Education and Research. Ann earned her Bachelor’s degree from George Mason University, and after a 25 year career in aquatic sciences, she began a PhD program at Oklahoma State University. Ann studies the functionality of bio-fluorescence in coral animals. This National Science Foundation backed research is not only answering questions regarding bio-fluorescence, but is aiding in identifying its potential importance for failing reef systems. Ann utilizes the knowledge she has gained to illustrate the importance of our planet’s beautiful reef systems and ocean habitats. okaquarium.org