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Coral species in Thailand

Over 35 years that Niphon Phongsuwan, the coral biologist has explored the underwater world and conducted a long-term monitoring of Thailand's coral reefs. He specializes in hard coral species identification.as he had been worked for the master thesis on hard coral taxonomy between 1983 and 1986 and had an opportunity to attend a workshop on corral taxonomy instructed by the well-known coral taxonomists Dr. Charlie Veron and Dr. Carden Wallace. He had a chance to examine the coral collections at the museum of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Tropical Museum of North Queensland. This experience gave him a better understanding of morphological variation in the stony corals. He started his career as a marine biologist at the Phuket Marine Biological Center. He had studied the community structure of corals in the Andaman Sea, Thailand, and also long term changes in these reef communities. Though he admitted he often faced problems with identification of some group of coral which are highly variable in morphology. During his career he had trained young coral researchers and university students in aspects of coral taxonomy He wrote a book “Staghorn corals in the Andaman Sea, Thailand”, describing 55 species encountered.

                To transfer his knowledge to the young generation of marine biologists and general enthusiastic divers/ snorkellers, he posts coral photographs and simple descriptions by highlighting the unique character of the species on his facebook (see the link  Niphon Phongsuwan). Some common names of coral, although being called differently in different localities, have been named to be used widely in Thailand. 

You can learn more about coral reef and ask him a question at facebook:  Niphon Phongsuwan

See more detail about coral species from the link below:


Photographs and article by Niphon Phongsuwan

Fomer Marine and Coastal Research Expert, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources