Despite significant interest in the emerging area of oceans and human health, relatively few studies have linked declining human well-being with compromised ecosystem function and services. The relationship between coral reef ecosystem decline and human well-being has yet to be investigated in systematic way. We are investigating the degree to which anthropogenic disturbances to coral reef ecosystems negatively impacts human well-being, particularly in Pacific Island societies, which exhibit social and cultural dependence on coastal resources. This research effort addresses an important gap in science – that of understanding and documenting how marine ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss impacts human health and well being.

John M. Pandolfi

IGERT Group, University of Hawaii