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Uploaded on Feb 16, 2011
Professor Nancy Knowlton from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History answers this question.
Dr. Knowlton's research focuses on coral reefs, and her analyses have led to the recognition that estimates of marine diversity are probably too low by a factor of ten.
Dr. Knowlton's career includes professorships and management positions at Yale University, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego.
She chairs the World Bank's Targeted Research Program for Coral Reefs, and is principle investigator of the Census of Marine Life's Coral Reef Initiative.
She is an elected fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, and a recipient of the Peter Benchley Prize for science in the service of conservation.