The university’s biology and chemistry students are working with chemistry professor Tom Manning.

A patent was filed in February 2014 on their novel approach to artificial reefs that is expected to positively impact ocean productivity.

Manning said the students created an artificial reef made of cellulose, which is the most abundant organic compound on Earth.

"The students then deployed the reef in the Florida Keys and monitored the marine ecosystem for seven months," Manning added.

The students dried bamboo in an oven and then soaked it in nutrients and allowed it to dry at room temperature in order to prepare the reef.

The university reported that while the reef promoted quick growth, it also created a food source for the organisms and microorganisms.

Manning and the students have applied for a provisional patent, full utility patent and international patent for their green tech artificial reef over the past year.

The project is supported by the US government agency, National Science Foundation.

Image: Left to right: Brittany Butler, Tom Manning, Tess Baker and Sydney Plummer. Photo: Courtesy of Valdosta State University.