Jennifer Adler, Ph.D., is a conservation photographer specializing in underwater photography. Her work as a photographer is informed by her scientific background, and she uses her imagery to communicate science and conservation. Jenny is a freelance photographer represented by National Geographic Image Collection.
The Mesoamerican reef is the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching about 1,000 km from the northern tip of the Yucatán down to Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. There are 47 marine protected areas along the reef, including this one in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, just south of Cancun. Healthy coral reefs can reduce up to 97% of wave energy coming to shore, which makes them especially important natural barriers during hurricanes. Shot on assignment for The Nature Conservancy.
Tea colored waters and perfect circles in the sky. The water looks a bit dark from above, but when you dive down and look up towards the sky, it resembles lightly brewed tea. It's chilly enough to wake you up like a stiff cup of tea too. When we first got in the water it was a bit eerie - the low sun hadn't illuminated the black, algae-blanketed basin and the deep vent was midnight black. Aways adds a bit of suspense to the day's work. The tannic water actually gets its color much like tea as well - from leaves and other organic matter in the flood plane.
The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) seeks refuge in the freshwater springs (and near the warm-water discharge from power plants) when the ocean temperatures get chilly in the winter. The @fwcresearch recently released their “Updated Statewide Abundance Estimates for the Florida Manatee” (2018). FWC estimated 6,810 manatees in 2011–2012 and 8,810 in 2015–2016. While the population has rebounded over recent years and is increasing, collisions with boats are still a cause of concern. According to FWC, collisions with boats are responsible for ~25% of all reported manatee deaths. Along with boat collisions, red tide and loss of warm-water habitat are the three leading causes of manatee mortality. While manatees can survive a crash, they are often left with dramatic scars, as seen on this individual resting beneath the surface at a spring in central Florida 2 weeks ago. Some scars are so distinctive that biologist use them to identify individuals.