Capital Coral INC was established in 2017 in New London CT. We moved to Albany, NY to a “designed for purpose” facility in 2021. This includes an aquatics lab, dry/fabrication lab, and a chemistry lab, along with offices for staff and students. The main aquatics lab is comprised of two systems with 20 different tanks linked to a common sump and filtration with about 3000 gallons in capacity. A large refugia tank for algae culturing helps with water filtration and the production of natural plankton for feeding the corals.
Dr. Gerdes holds a PhD in Cell Biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX and did his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD. He has been issued 27 US patents related to diagnostic technologies for pathology, automation, and image analysis, as well as in the area of human forensics. He has been an adjunct professor at SUNY Albany since 2008 in the Department of Biological Sciences where he teaches and mentors student research interns.
Dr. Gerdes has been growing corals for 25 years and is passionate about aquaculture and reef conservation as a Jamaican born American. Dr. Gerdes co-founded the Washington Area Marine Aquarist Society (wamas.org) in 2000 and was president from 2000-2005 prior to moving to the Albany, NY area. During this time he organized many speaker meetings for the group with many well-known hobbyists and professionals with an emphasis on sustainability in the aquarium trade.
He is currently focusing his efforts on uses of aquacultured corals for developing biomedical applications and chemical fingerprinting studies for coral health and disease. Additional work is directly aimed at improving restoration efforts with improved approaches for biofouling mitigation in nurseries and out-plant sites.
Eric is a graduate of Rice University with 45 years and thousands of hours of diving experience. He became world renowned in the husbandry of corals, authoring numerous books, book chapters, and presenting hundreds of articles and presentations worldwide on the subject, and pioneering many aspects of both asexual and sexual propagation of corals.
He was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship where he investigated apoptosis in coral disease at the University of Houston under Gerard Wellington, a pioneer of coral bleaching using coral coring around the world. He was a founding member of SECORE, a multinational group pioneering sexual gamete collection, fertilization and settlement to aid recruitment in wild corals. Eric also helped found a coral reef conservation and education non-profit,
the Reef Stewardship Foundation and initiated the model systems for living corals for the Coral Health and Disease Consortium.
Working with Andrew Bruckner for the non-profit NGO, Coral Reef CPR, they restored unique and critical reef habitat, including building a snorkel trail and an entire reef structure around an underwater restaurant at several location in The Maldives. He has worked throughout the Caribbean and Pacific, leading or a part of joint research projects on coral monitoring, restoration, reproduction, disease, assessment and climate change in Puerto Rico, the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Dominica, the Florida Keys, Grand Cayman, Easter Island, Fiji, Mustique, Belize, Indonesia, and The Maldives.
He is currently working as our Senior Coral Biologist at Capital Corals where he continues his work in advancing coral husbandry, utilizing corals in various research and education capacities and is continuing to work with numerous reef restoration efforts.
You can find many of Eric’s publications through Google Scholar.