Researching Diadema antillarum to save coral reefs

by dephiny-cesarano in Plymouth

We did it
On 23rd March 2015 we successfully raised £310 with 12 supporters in 56 days

Feeding ecology and habitat preferences of ecologically important Diadema antillarum (Sea urchin) in Honduras.

by dephiny-cesarano in Plymouth

New stretch target

  • The extra money earned, could be used to improve/create our own artificial reef system possibly in Falmouth or Plymouth using the gathered knowledge to conserve our biodiversity life system. This will not only improve biodiversity here but also possibly bring new biodiversity that we can enjoy as conservation lovers and local community who love diving to see the biodiversity florish, instead of travelling miles to view biodiversity elsewhere.

  • Also it could be given to Operation Wallace Trust (Charity number -1078362) to implement conservation management programmes.

I am a 2nd year student studying BSc(Hons) Ocean Science at Plymouth University and recently graduated (2014) from my 2 year degree in FdSc (Hons) Marine Science. I have the passion to research and discover ways I can contribute to help conserve what unique marine world we are surrounded by. 


  "I am a student with Operation Wallacea, raising £300 for a research project in Honduras".

About my project

There are a number of core issues that have been affecting the biodiversity of the reefs, some major concerns include: the mass mortality of the keystone Sea urchins that have allowed algal colonisation of reef areas.The Aim of my project is to focus on investigating 'Variation in temperature and effect it has upon feeding ecology and habitat preferences on keystone specie Diadema antillarum long-spinned sea urchins' by using Hondurus as a model system.

Research on Diadema antillarum (Sea urchin)

Research on  Diadema antillarun (Sea urchin)

Diadema antillarum, the long-spined sea urchin- is an important reef resident whose presence or absence can change the very nature of a reef. Urchins are key grazers and bioeroders, and their long spines provide shelter and protection for small fish and invertebrates.

Operation Wallacea sends the collected gathered data to Operation Wallacea Trust (charity number- 1078362), then uses this data to implement conservation management programmes. 

                             Unhealthy coral

Depleted food webs result in simplified ecosystem and vulnerability in phase shift as seen in photos above. Recent studies show a decline in reef communities in the Carribean, since the disease attack on Diadema antillarum. This lead to reduction in grazing which then lead to inceased algal cover.

About the organisation

Operation Wallacea (Opwall) is an organisation, that runs a series of biological and conservation management research programmes in remote locations across the world. These expeditions are designed with specific wildlife conservation aims in mind – from identifying areas needing protection, through to implementing and assessing conservation management programmes. What is different about Operation Wallacea is that large teams of ecologists, scientists, academics and postgraduate researchers who are specialists in various aspects of biodiversity or social and economic studies are concentrated at the target study sites.


The main successes of the Opwall Trust has been in demonstrating how funds can be used cost effectively in developing countries to ensure wildlife conservation. A distinctive feature of Opwall Trust funded projects is that they are trying to empower communities and individuals to develop businesses linked to forest or reef protection. 

Why I am crowdfunding?

I have decided to crowdfund to get the most efficient way to show why I am fundraising for this great opportunity and hopefully make a difference in the marine conservation community. The money will be used for the equipment and research needed for the project that will be taking place in Hondurus for 8 weeks. This is scheduled to commence from the 17th of June to 11th of August.

Operation Wallacea sends the collected gathered data to Operation Wallacea Trust (charity number- 1078362), then uses this data to implement conservation management programmes.

I will be organizing and fundraising events in my local area and will be posting photos and videos on my website (will put the URL link once updated).

Rewards- Raffles and Prize Draws

UK Annual Operation Wallacea Grand Prize Draw!!!!

Prizes include: 1st Price: A brand new car, a six week Operation Wallacea expedition.

                         2nd Price: £1100 Gapyear travel vouchers.

                         3rd Price: £1000 STA travel vouchers.

Prize draw will be held on Friday 4th September 2015.

When you donate £50 plus u get 5 tickets!!! posted to you.

Abit about me

Born In Kenya by the Indian Ocean I have always had a passion for the sea and curious about all the marine life, living in italy too by the sea has led me to further appreciate the marine life and what we are yet to discover and help revive what is slowly dying. Hence I was drawn to this project, by discovering and doing such a project first hand will help me understand even more and to spread awareness to others about the importance of conserving our marine life.

I love diving when I have the chance and other sports and social activities including Muay Thai kickboxing and just chilling with friends.

I have a website that has my previous projects and will be updated regulary with more information/pictures  and videos of the ongoing project to show people its progress through out. My website is on weebly ( Plese feel free to comment in the blog section.

For more information about Operation Wallecea you can visit (


     Thank you for taking your time to read this project, its for a great cause and together we can make a  change.

                                         Make your plege today and help fund for this inspiring reaserch!


































This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

Thank you for believing in my project

£18 or more

£18 Reward

Thank you for believing in my project. You will receive a postcard from Honduras, with the progress of the project and a thank you note :)

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Thank you for believing in my project. You will receive a short summary of my research carried in Honduras!

£40 or more

£40 Reward

Thank you for believing in my project. You will receive a diary of my time in Honduras, with activities taken to accomplish my research with lots of photos and a summary of findings. Also you will receive [10 Raffle tickets!!!] UK Annual Operation Wallacea Grand Prize Draw!!! and could be the lucky winner in the mentioned prices on my profile :)

£50 or more

£50 Reward

A thank you for believing in my project. You will get a hard copy of my final work :)

Got an idea like this?

Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.