Coral Reef Ecology, Bio-physical Interactions, Reproductive Ecology, Interactions of Human and Natural System

In the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Florence I. M. Thomas Ph.D

Associate Researcher


My research integrates physical, chemical, biological processes to examine many aspects of coastal ecology. My research is basically focused in four interconnected areas: 1) understanding how environmental variation at the scales of organisms affects the ecology of coral reef and macroalgae communities, 2) linking the physical aspects of the environment with organism responses through the application of engineering and physical models, 3) understanding how environmental characteristics influence the reproductive ecology of marine invertebrates, and 4) understanding how human induced changes in coastal systems impact near-shore coastal communities.

Examples of Research:


We have deployed a series of high frequency sensors collecting data on physical and chemical parameters in the environment. We use this data to examine factors that influence coral physiology, bioerosion, and nutrient dynamics


We study how water flow influences nutrient dynamics of coastal systems and the impact of these dynamics on larger scale processes.


We study how water flow and other environmental parameters affect fertilization and development in coastal marine invertebrates.

We work with local communities to answer questions related to altered land use. For example: 1) how does restoration of traditional farming affect water quality impacting downstream systems, 2) how are human derived nutrients processed in the nearshore coastal system and how do they impact coral ecology.


Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology

Himb at Coconut Island

Florence I. M. Thomas Ph.D

Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology


phone: 808 236-7418

fax: 808 737-0501

Copyright ¬© 2008  The Thomas Lab | website by Koa Digital Design