LIRRF Summer 2020 Update
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Dear <<First Name>>
As the year draws to a close we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season and thank you for your interest in, and support of, science on the Great Barrier Reef.

Despite the interruption to many projects this year, unavoidable with the 5 months closure of the Station, recent months have seen a steady resumption of research undertaken there.  This includes ongoing work into vision in mantis shrimps and octopuses, research on how habitat degradation affects reef fishes, important research into microplastics and further study on the Crown of Thorns Starfish.

Just two weeks ago the annual coral spawning took place.  It usually occurs around the 5th night after the full moon in November or December and Station co-director Dr Anne Hoggett reports it happened right on cue with more corals spawning than in recent years.  This is especially heartening as successful coral reproduction is critical to the ongoing health of the reef and highlights the resilience of many species of corals.

We hope you enjoy the below posts which share some of the work going on at the Station.  A notable project taking place in early 2021 is the upgrade of the Station’s solar power system.  One of the posts explains the background to this important initiative which will see 95% of Station power sourced from renewable energy.  
LIRRF also continues to fund important research into the effect of microplastics on the marine environment and the work of one of these researchers – examining contamination on zooplankton - is shared.
We all hope that 2021 will bring more normality to our schedules and lives.  For some scientists this includes the resumption of several LIRRF funded projects that have been put on hold.  We hope – notwithstanding travel restrictions – that these important projects will proceed next year.  Your support remains critical to advancing our knowledge and informing reef conservation for which we thank you.

We have one final sad note.  Suzette Talbot, wife of Professor Frank Talbot AM, passed away recently after more than 70 years together.  Frank founded the Lizard Island Research Station in 1973 and Sue was always by his side.  They were a wonderful couple who have given immensely to marine science in Australia.  Sue was an Honorary Associate of the Australian Museum and continued to work at the museum regularly to pursue her studies of the taxonomy and ecology of Mysidacea (small crustaceans). We send our most sincere condolences to Frank.

Warm wishes,

Kate Hayward
Chair - LIRRF

Questions & Answers from the Reefside Chat
With over 100 people logging into the reefside chat on December 9, there were too many questions to answer in the time available.


LIRS to Achieve 95% Renewable Electricity with Solar and Battery Upgrade
Marine environments are under increasing threat from human activity with climate change widely recognized as the single greatest risk to coral-reef ecosystems. Globally, the rapid build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is leading to rising sea surface temperatures and ocean acidification.


The Effects of Microplastic Contamination on Mesozooplankton: A Unique Threat?
Human activity has caused plastics to contaminate marine ecosystems around the world. Plastic materials can remain in the marine environment for decades and break down into smaller pieces such as microplastics (i.e. plastics <5 mm).


Reefside Chat with Prof Kris Helgen, Dr Anne Hoggett and Dr Lyle Vail 
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation had a virtual “reefside chat” with Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS) Co-Directors Dr Anne Hoggett AM and Dr Lyle Vail AM, in conversation with Professor Kris Helgen, Chief Scientist and Director of the Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI).

Listen Now...

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.
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Our mailing address is:
Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
Australian Museum
1 William Street
Sydney, Nsw 2010

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