‘Super coral’ scientist dies at age 56

  • Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology director Ruth Gates talks about her project to create "super coral" near her lab on Coconut Island in Kaneohe, Oahu, in September 2015. Gates, who dedicated much of her career to saving the world's fragile and deteriorating coral reefs, has died at age 56. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)
  • Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology director Ruth Gates shows corals that are undergoing enhancement at her lab on Coconut Island in Kaneohe, Oahu, in September 2015. Gates, who dedicated much of her career to saving the world's fragile and deteriorating coral reefs, has died at age 56. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)
  • Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology director Ruth Gates jumps off a boat into Kaneohe Bay in September 2015. Gates, who dedicated much of her career to saving the world's fragile and deteriorating coral reefs, has died at age 56. The University of Hawaii, where Gates was the director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, said Tuesday, that the researcher died in Honolulu on Thursday. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File)

HONOLULU — Pioneering coral reef scientist Ruth Gates, who dedicated much of her career to saving the world’s fragile and deteriorating underwater reef ecosystems, has died. She was 56.