UH, world lose top scientist

University of Hawaii professor Ruth Gates, one of the leading scientists in the coral research field, died last week, five months after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

She was on a mission to save the world’s fragile coral reefs from climate change. As the Director of the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology, Gates was trying to create “super corals” that could withstand bleaching and other environmental stressors.

It’s a big loss for the scientific community, but her colleagues and peers plan to continue her legacy.

“She makes you want to redouble your efforts,” said Bob Richmond, director of the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Honolulu. “You never stop trying. You never do it less than 150 percent. And you do it with a great sense of humor and you do it with collaboration.”

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