Submissions:2024/Coral Reef Digital Twins and a Distributed Genetic Ark for Coral Conservation

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2024.


Coral Reef Digital Twins and a Distributed Genetic Ark for Coral Conservation

Type of session:

Lightning talk

Session theme(s):

Community Engagement, Education, GLAM (Galleries/Libraries/Archives/Museums), Open Data, Research, Technology, Wild Ideas


The oceans are no longer a safe place for corals: we need a 100-year plan to keep them alive so that future generations also have a chance. Embracing Wikimedia’s core principles of openness, free access, and community contribution, I propose a strategy to create digital and genetic twins of the world's coral reefs. This involves capturing the topology, species diversity, abundance, and biogeochemistry of the reefs using existing technologies, alongside establishing a living, distributed genet ark of coral diversity. Corals are remarkable ecosystem engineers, capable of clonal reproduction, which will be crucial for this initiative. As a living complement to digital twins of reefs, I propose using a distributed network of university, public, and home aquaria to keep corals alive indefinitely. This will be tracked in an open ledger system based on proof-of-life, with all coral genets monitored and balanced through the network, using a leveling system to incentivize the preservation of diversity. We must explore the scope of our symbiotic nature with corals: for all of human time, we have relied on them. Now they rely on us.

Author name(s):

Anthony J Bellantuono

Wikimedia username(s):

E-mail address:

Affiliated organization(s):

Able to attend without scholarship?


Estimated length of session

10-15 minutes

Will you be presenting remotely?

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

Previously presented?

Yes, the 2024 UN VECOP Conference.

Special requests: