SMITHSONIAN DEEP REEF OBSERVATION PROJECT (DROP)

The Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) is an ongoing research program spearheaded by marine researchers at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). With over 126 million specimens in its collections, NMNH is the largest natural history research collection in the world and the most visited with over 8 million visitors per year. 

DROP researchers began exploring deeper reefs (up to 1,000ft) off the coast of Curaçao in 2011. The program utilizes the taxonomic expertise of over 20 Smithsonian researchers to achieve the following research and education goals:

  1. Document local biodiversity 
  2. Monitor changes in deep-reef ecosystems
  3. Compare biodiversity across time and space 
  4. Investigate the evolution of the deep-reef fish, invertebrate and algal communities
  5. Investigate the impact of invasive lionfish on the deep-reef community
  6. Improve the public understanding of ocean issues

The following publications resulted from explorations with the Curasub and expeditions with the RV Chapman to Curaçao, Klein Curaçao, Bonaire and Dominica. Click citations to access each journal article.

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013