giving coral reefs a future

our mission: creating and sharing the tools and technologies to sustainably restore coral reefs worldwide

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About us

SECORE International, Inc. is a leading conservation organization for the restoration of coral reefs. With sound science as the basis of our work, findings and developed methods are translated by engineers into innovative techniques and tools to implement reef restoration at much larger scales than currently possible―which is urgently needed, regarding the dire situation of coral reefs worldwide.

We have established a global network of scientists, public aquarium professionals as well as local authorities, partners and stakeholders. We share our knowledge in training events and workshops, and mentor our partners for implementing new techniques on-site.

Our focus is to work with breeding corals, enabling us to get huge numbers of coral babies by collecting coral germ cells during natural spawning events on the reef, while supporting the corals' genetic diversity and consequently promoting reef resilience at the same time. We develop tools to raise corals without the need for sophisticated land-based facilities and to bring them back to the wild in more efficient ways. We are dedicated to giving coral reefs a fighting chance for the future!

Our Mission: creating and sharing the tools and technologies to sustainably restore coral reefs worldwide.

Our Vision: a world where thriving coral reefs support healthy oceans for future generations.

SECORE International is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The corporation is based in Ohio (USA).

For media inquiries please contact:

Dr. Carin Jantzen,


Current job openings

Like a coral reef, we believe SECORE thrives with diversity

SECORE strongly believes that a community of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, ethnicities and cultures best prepares us to achieve our research, conservation, and restoration goals. Our strategy for implementing large scale coral restoration depends on working and partnering in many nations and across cultures. We appreciate that every person brings a unique viewpoint and experience to advance our mission, and we seek for our staff and boards to increasingly represent and encompass the diverse cultures, backgrounds, orientations, and perspectives of the communities in which we work and live. SECORE maintains that inclusion requires an ongoing commitment, one we enthusiastically make to build an organization that actively supports diversity across all lines of difference including age, economic circumstance, ethnicity, sex, race, range of ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression.


Dr. Dirk Petersen, Founder and Executive Director

Dr. Margaret Miller, Research Director

Aric Bickel, M.A., Director of Technology and Implementation

Diego Foronda, M.A., Operations Director

Dr. Carin Jantzen, Communications Director

Lena Starcevic, foreign language correspondent, Communications and Outreach Specialist

Miles Louis McGonigle, B.Sc., Lead Engineer, Miami

Dr. Valérie Chamberland, Research Scientist, Curaçao

Kelly Latijnhouwers, M.Sc., Caribbean Restoration Coordinator, Curaçao

Alex van der Last, M.Sc., Restoration Technician, Bonaire

Sandra Mendoza Quiroz, M.Sc., Mexico Restoration Coordinator, Mexico

Tania Doblado Speck, B.A., Caribbean Training Coordinator, Mexico

Hannah Ditzler, M.Sc., Research Technician, Miami

Eduardo Antonio Avila Pech, B.Sc., Roving Restoration Technician, Mexico

Raúl Tecalco Rentería, B.Sc., Restoration Technician, Mexico

Kassandra Toimil, B.S., Operations & Logistics Coordinator, Miami


Development and Major gifts

Lori Hunter Overmyer, MBA, CFRE, Development Executive, Goettler Associates


Board of Directors

Fernando Bretos, Chair, The Ocean Foundation, USA

Katie Murphy, Secretary, Vice Chair, Owner & President of Aquatic Adventures Ohio & Expansion Group, USA

Dr. Craig Dahlgren, Treasurer, Perry Institute for Marine Science, USA

Rob Rokoff, Secretary, Verisk Marketing Solutions, USA

Dr. Dirk Petersen, Founder and Executive Director, SECORE International, ex officio

Erin Medlin, Real World Agile Training, USA

Stephanie Stone, Science Journalist, USA

Bart Shepherd, Senior Director, Steinhart Aquarium, California Academy of Sciences, USA


Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Margaret Miller, SECORE International, Chair

Dr. Anastazia Banaszak, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico

Prof. Andrew Baker, University of Miami, USA

Dr. Elvira Alvarado Chacon, Universidad de Bogota Jorge Tadeo Lozan, Colombia

Prof. Iliana Baums – Penn State University, USA

Dr. James Guest – Newcastle University, UK

Dr. Rebecca Albright - California Academy of Sciences, USA

Prof. Peter Harrison - Director, Marine Ecology Research Centre, Southern Cross University, Australia

Dr. Valerie Paul, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, USA


Zoo and Aquarium Advisory Board

Aric Bickel, SECORE International, Chair

Mark Schick – Shedd Aquarium, USA

Mitch Carl – Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, USA


Media and Communications

Paul Selvaggio – photography, Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

Vanessa Cara-Kerr - videography and production, Reef Patrol

Nele Schütz, Suse Beck - graphic design, Nele Schütz Design

Mike McCue - videography, Marine Science Center Florida


Legal Counsel

Peter A. Precario, J.D. – Policy Advisor, Columbus, USA

Dr. Alexander Bulach, J.D. – Attorney at Law, Munich, Germany

Lead partners

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
The Builders Initiative
The Ocean Foundation
California Academy of Science


In the media

Special Coral Reef issue of the ECO Magazine, in cooperation with the ICRS 2021, featuring the article Growing Corals - our work lively explained based on notes from the field.
2020/1 Growing Coral, ECO Magazine

Future Oceans - Women working to save coral reefs in Mexico
2019/2 - Feature about Dr. Anastazia Banaszak, lead of our joint restoration project in Mexico, Lenny Letter

Collapsing coral reefs — can we rebuild them? together with Terry Hughes (James Cook University, Australia)
2019/1 - Interview with Research Director Margaret Miller on Radio CBC - Quirks & Quarks

Scientific publications

Anastazia T. Banaszak, Kristen L. Marhaver, Margaret W. Miller, Aaron C. Hartmann, Rebecca Albright, Mary Hagedorn, Peter L. Harrison, Kelly R. W. Latijnhouwers, Sandra Mendoza Quiroz, Valeria Pizarro, Valérie F. Chamberland. 2023, Restoration Ecology
2023/5 Applying coral breeding to reef restoration: best practices, knowledge gaps, and priority actions in a rapidly-evolving f

April D. Ridlon, Edwin D Grosholz, Boze T Hancock, Margaret W Miller, Aric R Bickel, Halley Elizabeth Froehlich, Diego Lirman, Frederic Joseph Pollock, Hollie Putnam, Michael Tlusty, Tiffany J. Waters, Kerstin Wasson. 2023, Frontiers in Marine Science
2023/4 Culturing for conservation: the need for timely investments in reef aquaculture

RC Geertsma, T Wijgerde, KRW Latijnhouwers, VF Chamberland. 2022. Coral Reefs
2022/10 Onset of zooplanktivory and optimal water flow rates for prey capture in newly settled polyps of ten Caribbean coral spe

Save our future - protect coral reefs

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SeCoRe SeCoRe

SECORE International, Inc.
2103 Coral Way, 2nd floor
Miami, FL 33145
phone: +1-(614) 969-3150

PO Box 1300
Hilliard, OH 43026
Meet our supporters

SECORE's lead partners are:

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
The Builders Initiative
The Ocean Foundation
California Academy of Science

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