Recent news and events
GBR Hidden Shallows project (July 2014). Chris, Kyle and Jamie are heading back out to Australia, to join Co-Is Scott Smithers and James Daniells from James Cook University, for a second stink on board the RV James Kirby as part of the NERC 'Hidden Shallows' project. This field season will aim is to expand the extent and resolution of the seafloor mapping efforts from 2013 and to target for coring a range of semi-emergent and submerged reef structures within the inner-shelf areas of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. These cores will be used to develop depositional and palaeoecological datasets from which long-term records of inner-shelf reef growth and change can be developed.
Holly on a research visit to the University of Auckland (July 2014). Holly is currently at the University of Auckland as a visiting research student. The aims of her visit are: (1) to use the Rapid Sediment Analyser to quantify the transport potential of sediment samples collected last year in the Maldives; (2) to analyse Ground Penetrating Radar data also collected on Maldivian reef islands; and (3) to present the progress of the project to the Auckland coastal sciences group.
SPACES and REEFBUDGET research in Mozambique (June 2014) Fraser is currently in the field in northern Mozambique, surveying reefs in Pemba and around Vamizi Island. Along with colleagues from the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya (Tim McClanahan and Nyawira Muthiga) and an assistant from the University Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo (Damboia Cossa), he is conducting fish and coral community surveys, Reefbudget census, and parrotfish feeding rate observations. Vamizi Island is surrounded by healthy reefs with high coral cover, and half of these reefs are under community protection. This is a change from Pemba, where reefs are very heavily fished and subject to considerable land derived sedimentation. The coral communities differ widely, with Vamizi hosting large fields of branching Acropora around the island, compared to the dominance of massive corals in Pemba. Fraser’s work over this month will add several new sites to our Reefbudget database, and start to collect data to parameterize the parrotfish bioerosion estimates in the Western Indian Ocean.
Mike moves on to Moreton Bay Research Station (May 2014) Mike has just completed his first field season in Australia, where he spent the greater part of May at Moreton Bay Research Station, offshore from Brisbane. Habitat types, and thus fish communities, in Moreton Bay differ greatly to those found around Heron Island, and a rather different selection of teleost families was used at this second field site as a consequence. Nevertheless, several teleost families are well represented in the work from both sites, these including Lethrinidae (emperors), Lutjanidae (snappers), and Sillaginidae (whitings). As such, Mike’s work over the last two months has not only greatly expanded the range of fish species studied with respect to carbonate production (adding about 40 species to the existing database), but will also generate important comparative data from similar species held in different environmental conditions.
Mike on Heron Island for first field season of new fish carbonate project (April 2014) Mike has spent the last four weeks at Heron Island Research Station, situated at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. The trip was the first of several to research stations along the eastern coastline of Australia as part of a NERC-funded project on carbonate sediment production by fish. Mike’s work on Heron Island involved the collection of carbonates produced by fish from more than 15 species not previously investigated in this regard; these covering body masses ranging from 2 g (devil scorpionfish, Inimicus filamentosus) to 3 kg (leopard coral grouper, Plectropomus leoprdus). Upon his return to the UK, Mike will use the samples he collected to characterise the carbonate products of each fish species and to determine their production rates. In the meantime, he will spend next month conducting more of the same work at Moreton Bay Research Station.
Chris and Mike back in Eleuthera (March 2014). Chris and Mike have just returned from Cape Eleuthera Institute in the Bahamas. The main focus on the trip was the collection of fish carbonates, with a view to collecting samples for dissolution and long-term experiment deployment. Samples were buried at two sites and will be left out for 2 years to assess carbonate preservation in different shallow marine environments. In addition, ReefBudget surveys were conducted at several new sites along the western side of Eleuthera and will feed into on-going regional assessments of reef carbonate budget states. The new visitors accommodation at Hallig House is highly recommended!
Prof Chris Perry
College of Life and Environmental Sciences,
University of Exeter, Amory Building, Rennes Drive,
Exeter, EX4 4RJ. UK
Tel: +44 (0)1332 723334
Resources and links
ReefBudget website - for reef carbonate budget assessments. CLICK HERE
Past news and events