Steve Coles first observed live corals in the Florida Keys over 25 years ago and was, struck by the beautiful growth forms of these remarkable animal-plants. Since then he has had the opportunity to look at corals and coral reefs throughout the world in such diverse locations as the islands of the Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Enewetak Atoll, Guam, Palua, the Red Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the coast of Oman from Dhofar to the Musandam peninsula. He has conducted basic and applied research on corals in many of these places and has published the results of these studies in numerous scientific journals, reports, book chapters and conference proceedings.
Prior to coming to Oman Dr Coles worked for five years in the Arabian Gulf, conducting a comprehensive survey of baseline conditions of the marine environment, including coral reefs, along the Saudi Arabian coastline before the 1990-91 Gulf War. For the past three years. he has conducted extensive surveys of reef coral coverage in the Muscat Capital Area of Oman and has visited and dived in all of the major areas where corals occur.