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LIRRF December 2018 Update
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Dear <<First Name>>
 
Thank you for your interest and support of the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation.  As this year draws to a close, we’d like to give you an update of some of the science being undertaken at the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS).   There are some inspiring stories linked below, such as how marine science is providing important benefits to humans, including insights into neurological functions;  how environmental DNA could enable efficient early detection of Crown of Thorns Starfish outbreaks; and the tale of a recent evening when the smell of coral spawning in the Lizard Island lagoon had scientists dancing for joy – the first such smell in several years. 
 
This is our Foundation’s 40th year of funding science at Lizard Island. Never has it been so critical to understand and protect the vital coral ecosystems upon which so much of our planet’s life depends.  The threat of global warming, further coral bleaching and ocean acidification continues.  LIRS is operating at full capacity, playing a unique and important role in facilitating field research on the effects of these stresses and expanding knowledge of the Reef’s myriad species. 
 
The Station’s financial situation is unchanged by the Government’s $444m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. We have no expectation that any part of that sum will be allocated to facilities or research fellowships at Lizard Island. LIRS would not exist, and could not continue, without the annual funding it receives through donations to our Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation.  This financial year we aim to provide around $400,000 in support of which $250,000 is for research grants and fellowships, and the remainder for maintenance and expansion of research facilities. 
 
We sincerely thank you for your ongoing interest and support of the research projects undertaken at the Station, and wish you a peaceful holiday season.  
 
Best wishes,
 
Kate Hayward
Chair

The brain and other benefits
Scientists have discovered thousands of new chemical compounds, molecular structures and biological processes through research on reef plants and animals.

Read more...

Marine microdebris
Dr Frederieke Kroon and her colleagues from AIMS have published the first study confirming microdebris (including microplastics) in wild-caught fish at Lizard Island and elsewhere on the GBR.

Read more...

Goby groupies
This Goby Gobiodon citrinus likes to live in groups of 3 or more. That is usually an advantage compared to Goby species that live in pairs, but a disadvantage when cyclones and bleaching destroy larger coral habitats.

Read more...

Reef soundscapes
The sound of healthy Lizard Island reefs was recorded in 2012. These same reefs were recorded again 2016 after severe degradation from cyclones and coral bleaching. The 2016 soundscapes are 8% less attractive to wild fish larvae and result in 40% less settlement of juvenile fishes.

Hear more...

Climate links
We updated our post on this topic. 2019 is looking OK, but the longer-term outlook for coral reefs is not. Tim Gordon’s video at the end is insightful.

Read more...

CoTS eDNA
Field trials confirm that the presence and concentration of Crown of Thorns Starfish (CoTS) can be determined from environmental DNA present in small samples of local seawater; further progress toward the goal of early detection and control.

Read more...

Reef recovery
The annual coral spawning occurred in late November; millions of little corals are continuing their growth; and there are increases in fish populations. Climate projections indicate severe bleaching will recur in future decades, but for now there are still countless Reef species to see and study. Our science has never been more urgent or important.

Read more...

Why Donate to support science at the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station?

  • Because the Great Barrier Reef is hugely important;
  • the science advances knowledge of life and informs reef conservation;
  • the Station is one of the world’s best reef research facilities and advances marine science careers;
  • the science depends on continuing donor support;
  • LIRRF provides a super-efficient funding channel where you will see your funds being put to good use;
  • and because we have a sense of wonder.
Donate Now
Our mailing address is:
Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
Australian Museum
1 William Street
Sydney, Nsw 2010
Australia

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