National Sea Simulator operations manager
Craig Humphrey 


Media enquiries
Emma Chadwick - 07 4753 4452 or 0412 181 919


The National Sea Simulator is home to a number of exciting research projects during the 2018 Great Barrier Reef spawning season (end of October to early December).

Our focus on this pivotal moment is to best understand how science can improve the health the Reef, and other reefs around the world. 

More about reef spawning in the National Sea Simulatorâ–º


Test settlement dynamics across restoration devices

Test settlement dynamics across restoration devices

A rack deployed on the reef with a variety of shapes and substrates to be tested in settlement assays. Front left shapes (tetrapods) were designed by SECORE, and other substrates were designed by Dr Andrew Heyward. Photos: Dr Andrew Negri

Surviving is a great challenge to young coral settlers and is a bottleneck in the process of reef restoration. In an effort to improve post-settlement survival, a suite of substrates are being developed and tested that provide corals with microcrevices that may protect them during early growth.

The timing of deployment and the growth of biofilm communities also impacts the attractiveness of the substrates to coral larvae, and has the potential to influence survival after settlement.

The aim of this project is to condition a variety of shapes and substrates in the field over different durations, to evaluate biofilm development across the substrates through time, and to assess survival after settlement. The substrates are already in the field being prepared ahead of spawning, and will return to the National Sea Simulator when the larvae are ready to settle. Then the corals will go back out to the reef and will be monitored for their performance over the next year.


Dr Carly Randall
Dr Andrew Heyward
Dr Nicole Webster
Dr Andrew Negri
Dr Line Bay
Mr Aric Bickel (SECORE)
Dr Dirk Petersen (SECORE)
Dr Margaret Miller (SECORE)

This research is supported by:

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