Following a hot start to summer, the usual monsoonal wet-season cloud cover helped keep water temperatures within their normal range around Lizard Island. It was the second consecutive year without further coral loss from bleaching, direct-hit cyclones or local outbreaks of the Crown of Thorns Starfish. Scientists and other visitors are delighted to see continuing re-growth in the corals and the many species that depend on them.
2019 bookings at the Station are strong and follow on from a busy calendar 2018 of 6,704 visitor nights. Optimal capacity is 7,000.
Our Science Committee has completed evaluation of applications for 2019. Four new doctoral Fellowships, three postdoctoral fellowships and four Crown of Thorns grants have been awarded.
On Tuesday March 26, 6PM, we’re hosting a panel evening in Sydney at the Australian Museum. It will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with Dr Anne Hoggett AM who will be presenting with two other marine scientists. Spaces are limited and the event is almost booked out, with details found here. On Wednesday March 27 we’re hosting our Melbourne dinner – please let us know if you’d like further details on this event.
I hope you glean some hope and wonderment from the posts linked below, some written by the scientists themselves. Learn about the Reef's role in deep sea grass carbon sequestration; be awed by the horror, wonder and science of CoTS; see some beautiful lace corals; share scientists'concern about microplastic ingestion by juvenile fish; and be enchanted by one young girl's recount of her visit to the Station and her swim with turtles in the Reef lagoon.
There is so much more to share. A complete list of all visiting scientists,projects and publications will be provided in the Stations 2018 Report. It is currently in the final stages of production and will be distributed soon.
Thank you for your ongoing support, without which this vital research into coral reef communities and the highly regarded Lizard Island Research Station could not continue.
; Kate Hayward
Reef fish recruitment and microplastics
Baby reef fish ingest microplastic pollutants. This impairs their performance and possibly their survival