Latest News https://www.aims.gov.au/ en Celebrating 50 years: a message from our CEO https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/celebrating-50-years-message-our-ceo <h1 class="au-header-heading">Celebrating 50 years: a message from our CEO</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Wed, 2022-05-11 15:49</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div alt="Gentleman in a suit smiles for the camera" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="bd1f489a-8b44-45f2-8fe8-4c66f5897713" class="align-right embedded-entity" data-langcode="en"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/paul_hardisty_aims_ceo_300px.jpg" width="300" height="375" alt="Gentleman in a suit smiles for the camera" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><span><span><span>From our beginnings in 1972 as a marine research agency focused solely on the Great Barrier Reef, with two small boats and a handful of aquarium tanks, AIMS has come a long way. Today, our geographic reach stretches from the southern Great Barrier Reef through to Ningaloo in Australia’s west, all traversed with the help of two purpose built research vessels. Our science is broad and multidisciplinary, and our research is supported by the <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="a8220bbc-28b8-4a4b-9d64-4096cf4c193c" href="/node/2707">National Sea Simulator</a> - the most sophisticated research aquarium facility in the world.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Australia’s tropical marine estate is changing. The mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef in early 2022 is a stark reminder of the speed of these changes - this is the fourth mass coral bleaching event since 2016, and the first recorded in a cooler La Niña year. Australia's north west also suffered heat wave conditions. These changes in our oceans are occurring rapidly and so must we, to ensure the best science is available to help ocean health and coral reefs survive climate change.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>What hasn’t changed is the dedication and hard work of AIMS people. For over 50 years we have delivered science for a marine nation with integrity and impartiality. Our dedicated science teams continue the exploration that was our focus through the 1970’s and 80’s, with a stronger emphasis today on delivering solutions to the big marine challenges facing our nation and the world.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In 2022, we have much to be proud of. We have initiated a comprehensive <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="c41570e8-e555-4b4f-bffb-80f0daf2b501" href="/node/2807">Indigenous Partnership Program</a> which is now being emulated by organisations across Australia. We are developing the first marine autonomous system test range in the Southern </span></span></span><span><span><span>Hemisphere. </span></span></span><span><span><span>We lead cutting-edge reef adaptation and restoration research to help protect coral reefs from climate change, and we will soon double the size of SeaSim, significantly increasing our positive impact for the nation. And recently, the Australian Government committed <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="b178151a-b492-48a7-bf59-ac352fe5a185" href="/node/3943">an additional $63.6 million in funding</a> for AIMS, allowing us to continue providing the research knowledge to support growth in the sustainable use of our tropical marine estate, and foster the environmental protection and management of its unique ecosystems.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span> <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="3a5f89f8-d21d-4529-8b4c-a4db2858442f" href="/node/3664">Dr Paul Hardisty</a></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span> AIMS CEO</span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5793/edit" hreflang="en">copyrightaims_creditjamesgilmour_rvsolander-5.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/copyrightaims_creditjamesgilmour_rvsolander-5.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="AIMS research vessel at sea on a clear sunny day" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 11 May 2022 05:49:59 +0000 j.hurford 3965 at https://www.aims.gov.au Coral spawning success advances Ningaloo Reef research https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/coral-spawning-success-advances-ningaloo-reef-research <h1 class="au-header-heading">Coral spawning success advances Ningaloo Reef research</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Tue, 2022-05-10 09:12</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>During the coral larvae spawning on Ningaloo Marine Park near Exmouth scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and <a href="https://www.uwa.edu.au/oceans-institute">The University of Western Australia</a> are examining why some individual corals are more resilient to heat stress. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The spectacular coral spawning event occurs off Western Australia’s World Heritage Ningaloo coastline each year with corals releasing a shower of tiny gametes into the water column to cross fertilise. The resultant larvae drift with the currents before settling back onto the reef, carrying with them the hope for growing new coral colonies that form the building blocks for coral reef ecosystems. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Spawning has also been successfully simulated for the first time under controlled conditions at Minderoo Foundation’s new <a href="https://www.minderoo.org/minderoo-foundation-exmouth-research-laboratory/">Exmouth Research Laboratory</a>. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Lead Researcher from AIMS and the UWA Oceans Institute Dr Luke Thomas said the Exmouth Research Lab, based on technology from AIMS <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="a8220bbc-28b8-4a4b-9d64-4096cf4c193c" href="/node/2707">National Sea Simulator</a> in Townsville, gave his team the ability to precisely manipulate the water temperature affecting Ningaloo corals.</span></span><br />  </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div alt="coral with egg bundles being released" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="bca36921-dcff-44e5-ad7e-94d490a4ae6a" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/coral_spawning_exmouth_credit_shannon_duffy_800px.jpg" width="800" height="511" alt="coral with egg bundles being released" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Image courtesy of Shannon Duffy.</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span>“It’s really expanded our capacity to address a range of new questions about coral biology. It also allows us to generate reliable, reproducible data that is a fundamental component of science,” Dr Thomas said.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Once fertilised, the tiny pink coral larvae are left to grow out in big culture tanks for a few days until they are robust enough to transfer to the temperature-controlled room, where the AIMS/UWA researchers expose the larvae to heat stress experiments. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="3d7b7685-3f2c-4eb0-841d-768f75623d15" href="/node/3762">AIMS@UWA</a> PhD candidate Shannon Duffy is working on understanding the genetic drivers and spatial patterns in coral thermal tolerance.</span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h3><span><span>“We’re focused on understanding how much natural variation in bleaching-resistance exists at Ningaloo, and how genetic tools can be used to identify and harness that variation to safeguard the reefs.”</span></span></h3> </blockquote> <p><span><span>Shannon and her colleagues heat stressed the recently spawned coral larvae and found that some survived at temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>After several days, those coral larvae that have proven resilient to heat stress undergo whole genome DNA sequencing to explore the genetic variants that confer this tolerance. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“We look at the larvae’s DNA to find out which genes assist the larvae to survive high water temperatures. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The research will enable us to understand the natural capacity of corals to adapt to warming oceans so that we can help coral reefs to be more resilient to the effects of climate change,” Shannon said.</span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"> <div alt="Scientists conducting experiment in small test tank" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="6958a74f-b96c-418a-8dfa-28dd61df0619" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/experimental_heat_stress_test_300px.jpg" width="300" height="400" alt="Scientists conducting experiment in small test tank" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Image courtesy of Shannon Duffy</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span>Minderoo Foundation Flourishing Oceans Initiative Director Dr Tony Worby said that scientists having the access to high tech facilities built on Ningaloo’s doorstep would improve coral reef research. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Corals will only spawn in a laboratory when the conditions perfectly replicate nature, so we’re really excited to see the success in spawning Ningaloo corals for the first time. It’s a testament to the quality of the facilities that have been built by Minderoo, in collaboration with AIMS, that we’ve been able to move rapidly towards trying to find some solutions within six months of opening the Lab.” Dr Worby said.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>This year’s spawning has the team at the Exmouth Research Lab working alongside a pioneer of worldwide studies into coral spawning, AIMS’ <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="7ae3f779-c1f9-4ba8-8890-b368acc161e1" href="/node/3512">Dr Andrew Heyward</a>.</span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h3><span><span>“This is an important milestone in research at the Ningaloo Marine Park. If we can determine the genetic variants that confer heat resilience in coral larvae, then we can scan the adult populations in the wild for their natural heat resistance. </span></span></h3> </blockquote> <p><span><span>“We can then focus on protecting those naturally heat tolerant corals or target our restoration efforts using these individuals,” Dr Heyward said.</span></span></p> <p><em>Feature image courtesy of Blue Media Exmouth.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5784/edit" hreflang="en">merl_lab_coral_spawn_bluemediaexmouth-800px.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/merl_lab_coral_spawn_bluemediaexmouth-800px.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="Researcher leans over coral about to spawn in a tank" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 09 May 2022 23:12:35 +0000 j.hurford 3962 at https://www.aims.gov.au Oh Mother! Why we should be protecting large female sea turtles https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/oh-mother-why-we-should-be-protecting-large-female-sea-turtles <h1 class="au-header-heading">Oh Mother! Why we should be protecting large female sea turtles</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Fri, 2022-05-06 10:30</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>A new study by an international team of researchers, including one from the Australian Institute of Marine Science has found that size does matter when it comes to nesting female <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="b983fd67-c502-4977-9036-c41049ce5b92" href="/node/2767">sea turtles</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>The finding, published in </span></span></span><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/geb.13502"><em><span><span>Global Ecology and Biogeography</span></span></em></a><span><span><span>, showed that the body size of the sea turtles can influence population dynamics because larger females have greater reproductive output.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span><a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="e708e82d-155f-4199-b45c-10423ad957ac" href="/node/3743">Dr Diego Barneche</a>, an ecological statistician at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and adjunct senior researcher with <a href="https://www.uwa.edu.au/oceans-institute">The University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute</a>, said researchers found female size is a strong predictor for the number of eggs and size of the hatchlings when born.</span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h3><span><span><span><span><span>“Females as they grow older, become what you could call ‘super mums’, contributing more to the population by having more eggs and of a greater size,” Dr Barneche said.</span></span></span></span></span></h3> </blockquote> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>Dr Nicholas Wu, the first author of the study, said the size and number of the hatchlings is especially important when they’re making the dangerous journey from nest to the open ocean.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>“That’s because there is safety in numbers and larger hatchlings also have more ‘run power’ to help them escape predators,” Dr Wu said.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>“Our work highlights the need to account for body size when predicting how sea turtle populations are being impacted by human activity and also the need to protect large females so that numbers may be more quickly replenished as part of conservation efforts,” Dr Barneche added.</span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <figure role="group"> <div alt="large turtle on the beach" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="56ea987f-0c60-4533-b431-a3a15b9af5d6" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/green_turtle_after_nesting-800px.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="large turtle on the beach" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Image courtesy of Kellie Pendoley.</figcaption> </figure> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>The researchers compared two different data sets to estimate how size of female sea turtles contribute to reproductive output– the first a global meta-analysis which is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>“We compared the meta-analysis results with those obtained from a massive dataset of green turtle nesting surveys collected over more than 25 years by the Sea Turtle Research Unit at the Chagar Hutang Turtle Sanctuary in Malaysia,” Dr Barneche said.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>“The contributions of female size to reproductive output we saw were similar between datasets, which gives us confidence that, in the absence of local studies, our global meta-analysis estimates serve as a good first approximation to predicting the potential contribution of larger females to population replenishment.</span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h3><span><span><span><span><span>“All the evidence is showing that we should be protecting these super mums, they’re the hope for the future and conserving them can have a lasting impact on the future diversity and resilience of these iconic species.”</span></span></span></span></span></h3> </blockquote> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span><em>Feature image courtesy of Britten Syd Andrews</em></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"> </p> <h3>You may also be interested in:<span> </span></h3> <ul> <li>Species at Risk | <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="b983fd67-c502-4977-9036-c41049ce5b92" href="/node/2767">Marine Turtles</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5781/edit" hreflang="en">aerial-nesting-turtle-800px.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-05/aerial-nesting-turtle-800px.jpg" width="800" height="532" alt="A turtle crawls onto a beach as seen from above" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 06 May 2022 00:30:06 +0000 j.hurford 3960 at https://www.aims.gov.au Latest coral snapshot now one click away in the cloud https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/latest-coral-snapshot-now-one-click-away-cloud <h1 class="au-header-heading">Latest coral snapshot now one click away in the cloud</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Tue, 2022-04-12 09:11</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span>Reef scientists across the Pacific have worked together to create a digital tool that uses machine learning and advanced analysis to rapidly extract and share data from images of coral reefs anywhere in the world.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Launched on the eve of the <a href="https://ourocean2022.pw/">Our Ocean Conference in Palau</a>, <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="52c6501a-94f9-49c6-9059-017b4a4717c0" href="/node/3909">ReefCloud</a> is a user-friendly, open-access platform poised to revolutionise global coral reef monitoring and management by allowing the world’s coral reef monitoring community to work together, in real time.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>ReefCloud standardises data collected from around the world, analysing coral reef composition with 80-90 percent accuracy, 700 times faster than traditional manual assessment, saving weeks and months of labour and freeing precious reef management resources.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>ReefCloud was developed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in collaboration with <a href="https://picrc.org">Palau International Coral Reef Center</a> (PICRC), <a href="https://fiji.wcs.org/">Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Fiji</a>, the <a href="https://www.icriforum.org/">International Coral Reef Initiative</a> (ICRI), <a href="https://www.usp.ac.fj/">University of South Pacific</a>, <a href="https://www.qut.edu.au/">Queensland University of Technology</a>, <a href="https://www.marineecologyfiji.com/">Marine Ecology Consulting</a>, <a href="https://mrc.gov.mv/">Maldives Marine Research Institute</a> and <a href="https://www.c2o.net.au/">C2O Pacific</a>, with in kind support from <a href="https://www.accenture.com/au-en">Accenture</a> and the <a href="https://allencoralatlas.org/">Allen Coral Atlas</a>.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Speaking at the launch at PICRC, Australian Ambassador for the Environment Jamie Isbister said ReefCloud brought </span><span>a transformative change to the way we monitored our coral reefs and came at a critical time for global reef protection. It also included </span><span>engagement with indigenous communities, many of whom play a key role in marine monitoring.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“Coral reefs are rapidly declining, with climate change being their single greatest threat globally,” Mr Isbister said.</span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h4><span><span><span><span>“This platform is going to address key challenges by helping coral reef managers assess the condition of their reefs and take appropriate management actions. I’m pleased to note that Australia’s aid program provided support for the development of this platform. </span></span></span></span></h4> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span><span>“ReefCloud’s inaugural international roll-out is to Pacific island nations, in recognition of the vulnerabilities the region’s coral reefs face and the importance of coral reefs to the region’s health and prosperity.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“The Pacific is home to 27% of the world’s coral reefs, which is more than any other region. Reefs occur mainly around remote oceanic islands and communities are often very closely connected to their reef.” </span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group"> <div alt="diver taking a photo of a coral reef" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="5bd94fc2-44b0-4947-a20e-6ac302b66570" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-04/fiji_reefcloud5_copyrightaims_credittomvierus-800px.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="diver taking a photo of a coral reef" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Image: Tom Vierus</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span><span>Palau Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment Steven Victor said ReefCloud was an innovative tool that would enable the Pacific to work together towards the shared goals of development and protection of natural resources. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>"ReefCloud will assist our reef managers with the most current and accurate data while helping to grow our scientific capability" he said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Fijian Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Dr Mahendra Reddy said Fiji’s coastal communities depended on coral reefs for fishing and tourism and provided frontline defence against the impacts of climate change such as sea level rise.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“Fiji’s coral reefs are vulnerable to many threats, including climate change, overfishing and land-based pollution,” he said. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“Averting crisis depends on our collaborative effort and coordination amongst regional and international partners with government, non-government institutions and coral reef scientists who advance science-based technologies such as ReefCloud.” </span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <div alt="ReefCloud platform screenshot on a computer screen" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="eed7f881-77df-465b-ac19-7d6016db6f21" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-04/reefcloud-still-program-screen-1-800px.jpg" width="800" height="450" alt="ReefCloud platform screenshot on a computer screen" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><span><span><span><span>AIMS Research Team Lead and ReefCloud Director <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="d7cd3cfa-96e7-43e9-8f66-1785424724a9" href="/node/3531">Dr Manuel Gonzalez Rivero</a> said ReefCloud was the “democratisation of knowledge”.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We’re partnering with the </span><a href="https://gcrmn.net/"><span>Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)</span></a><span> to support a transformation in coral reef monitoring,” he said. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“Last year, GCRMN released a </span><a href="https://gcrmn.net/2020-report/"><span>global snapshot of coral reef condition</span></a><span> which involved integrating reef monitoring efforts from 12,000 coral reef sites in 73 countries. With limited human resources it took years to painstakingly reconcile inconsistent data formats and methodologies.</span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h4><span><span><span><span>“ReefCloud can automate that process, providing up-to-date information within hours, which leads to more timely and informed decisions on actions to improve the long-term sustainability of our coral reefs.”</span></span></span></span></h4> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span><span>PICRC CEO Dr Yimnag Golbuu said PICRC scientists played a key role in shaping and testing ReefCloud to ensure it was user-friendly and met local needs.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We’re excited to be launching ReefCloud today and look forward to it being an integral tool to help our future reef monitoring efforts and inform Palau’s reef management decisions,” he said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>ReefCloud is a A$6.6M program, jointly funded by AIMS and the <a href="https://www.dfat.gov.au/">Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade</a> (DFAT). DFAT has provided an additional $200,000 to engage indigenous communities, many of whom play a key role in marine monitoring.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>ReefCloud won an APSEA (<a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="63444cf6-4c1d-48c9-8dfd-901c19f116c6" href="/node/3911">Asia-Pacific Spatial Excellence Award</a>) in November 2021 and was one of its six Accenture Eco Innovation Challenge winners.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>For more information: </span><a href="https://reefcloud.ai"><span>https://reefcloud.ai</span></a></span></span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2022-04/041222%20media%20release%20ReefCloud%20launch%20Updated.pdf">Download | 296KB</a></p> <h3>Media Contact</h3> <p><a href="mailto:media@aims.gov.au">media@aims.gov.au</a></p> <p><strong>Download images:</strong> <span><span><span><a href="https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/4RxwVxAyJD7RzgN"><span>https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/4RxwVxAyJD7RzgN</span></a></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5767/edit" hreflang="en">reefcloud-brand-800px.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-04/reefcloud-brand-800px.jpg" width="800" height="450" alt="Aerial view of reef with small boat and ReefCloud brand" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 11 Apr 2022 23:11:20 +0000 j.hurford 3954 at https://www.aims.gov.au Coral reef preservation efforts not looking at the whole picture https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/coral-reef-preservation-efforts-not-looking-whole-picture <h1 class="au-header-heading">Coral reef preservation efforts not looking at the whole picture </h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Thu, 2022-04-07 09:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>An international team of researchers, including one from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, have quantified five critical ecological processes on more than 500 coral reefs worldwide to understand how these processes relate to each other.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>Their work, published in </span></span></span><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-022-01710-5"><em><span><span>Nature Ecology and Evolution</span></span></em></a><em><span><span><span>,</span></span></span></em><span><span><span> explored what distinguishes the most functional reefs and what that means for management of reef functioning. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span><a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="e708e82d-155f-4199-b45c-10423ad957ac" href="/node/3743">Dr Diego Barneche</a>, an ecological statistician at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and adjunct senior researcher with <a href="https://www.uwa.edu.au/oceans-institute">The University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute</a>, said the study demonstrates that five key functions performed by fish communities – the removal of algae, predation, biomass production, and the cycling of nitrogen and phosphorus – are inherently interconnected.</span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h4><span><span><span><span><span>“So, while the performance of these processes is influenced by the community structure of reef fishes on any given reef, no reef can maximise each of the five processes simultaneously,” Dr Barneche said.</span></span></span></span></span></h4> </blockquote> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>Coral reefs are often described as the rainforests of the ocean. However climate change and local threats, such as overfishing, have caused a stark decline in these worldwide, leaving scientists questioning whether future generations will still encounter healthy, ‘functional’ coral reefs. But what makes a reef functional?</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>Dr Nina Schiettekatte, postdoctoral fellow at UH Mānoa’s Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology and lead author of the study, said we need to imagine a coral reef fish community swirling with small fishes that feed on algae.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>“This community will be characterised by high algal consumption and high biomass production, but it will have low phosphorus cycling because these species excrete very little phosphorus,” she said.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>Data was collected from individual fishes and combined with a large dataset on fish communities worldwide to gain detailed biological information on how they acquire and use energy and nutrients. Researchers found ecological processes on coral reefs worldwide are in a delicate balance, where it is impossible to maximise all processes.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div alt="coral trout and blue green chromis swim above coral" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="61b809f6-4e75-46e6-b8f1-dcd300ebd98a" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-04/coral_trout_on_reef_courtesy_of_uh_manoas_hawaii_institute_of_marine_biology_800px.jpg" width="800" height="576" alt="coral trout and blue green chromis swim above coral" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Image courtesy of UH Mānoa’s Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology</figcaption> </figure> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>Dr Barneche said the study quantifies multiple functions of coral reefs for the first time.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>“We moved beyond simply using the biomass of a fish community, which has been a standard conservation metric, as a proxy for coral reef functioning, but rather looked at all of the different components,” Dr Barneche said.</span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h4><span><span><span><span><span>“We also found that no single species was more important than others, but that half of all species were important in at least one location, meaning that there is no one fish species vital for ecosystem functioning  but many local fish that are.”</span></span></span></span></span></h4> </blockquote> <p class="x"><span><span><span><span><span>The researchers concluded a more nuanced approach to conserving coral reefs is needed which considers local species, ecosystem dynamics, and stakeholder needs.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="x"><em>Feature image courtesy of UH Mānoa’s Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology.</em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5757/edit" hreflang="en">reef_fish_courtesy_of_uh_manoas_hawaii_institute_of_marine_biology.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-04/reef_fish_courtesy_of_uh_manoas_hawaii_institute_of_marine_biology.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="blue green chromis swim above coral reef" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 06 Apr 2022 23:00:00 +0000 j.hurford 3951 at https://www.aims.gov.au Next gen smart boat trialled at AIMS test range https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/next-gen-smart-boat-trialled-aims-test-range <h1 class="au-header-heading">Next gen smart boat trialled at AIMS test range </h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Tue, 2022-04-05 12:30</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>James Cook University (JCU) engineering students recently tested an autonomous surface vessel they are developing using AIMS' <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="ac064206-39ac-47b9-b406-64b729f9c114" href="/node/3834">ReefWorks tropical marine technology test range</a> at Cape Ferguson, near Townsville.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>In preparation to compete in the <a href="http://robotx.org/programs/robotx-challenge-2022/">2022 Maritime RobotX Challenge</a>, the team’s electric-powered Wave Adaptive Modular-Vessel (WAM-V) was put through its paces at ReefWorks.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Project lead Ethan Waters said the vessel would face some difficult tasks in the challenge, such as t</span><span><span>ravelling through specific gates based on the location of an underwater beacon, following a path indicated by buoys of a different colour, and s</span></span><span>canning a light to determine the red-green-blue sequence it produces.</span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <blockquote><h4><span><span><span><span><span>“A boat like this could have several applications, such as reconnaissance, search and rescue or even autonomously patrol parts of the reef to observe different marine life,” Mr Waters said.</span></span></span></span></span></h4> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span><span><span>AIMS ReefWorks facilitated JCU’s WAM-V systems integration testing, safety procedure verification and on-water checks at a test range with the assistance of the broader AIMS operations and engineering teams.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“We tested how the boat performed receiving commands and then executing them via a remote control. It was important to do that and address any issues we had before it goes completely autonomous,” Mr Waters said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The competition, run in collaboration with the United States Office of Naval Research and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Group, will see JCU go up against a host of international and Australian teams at the Sydney International Regatta Centre from November 11 – 17.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS is a sponsor of JCU’s WAM-V. <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="ac064206-39ac-47b9-b406-64b729f9c114" href="/node/3834">ReefWorks</a>, supported by the Queensland Government, is a national capability to safely test marine technologies, uncrewed systems and new sensors in a tropical marine environment. It has recently opened to external users including industry, government and academic innovators.</span></span></span></p> <p><em><span><span><span>Feature image courtesy of James Cook University/Joshua Smallwood</span></span></span></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5747/edit" hreflang="en">jcu_trials_smart_boat_at_aims_test_range.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-04/JCU%20trials%20smart%20boat%20at%20AIMS%20test%20range%20800px.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Autonomous surface vessel on water with Mt Cleveland behind" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 05 Apr 2022 02:30:00 +0000 j.hurford 3948 at https://www.aims.gov.au Saving the Great Barrier Reef: these recent research breakthroughs give us renewed hope for its survival https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/saving-great-barrier-reef-these-recent-research-breakthroughs-give-us-renewed-hope-its-survival <h1 class="au-header-heading">Saving the Great Barrier Reef: these recent research breakthroughs give us renewed hope for its survival</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Thu, 2022-03-24 08:57</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453785/original/file-20220323-25-k2518z.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;rect=15%2C31%2C5160%2C3849&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /><br /> FNQ. <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Marie Roman </span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-hardisty-786409">Paul Hardisty</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-institute-of-marine-science-1086">Australian Institute of Marine Science</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-mead-1043572">David Mead</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-institute-of-marine-science-1086">Australian Institute of Marine Science</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rob-vertessy-7641">Rob Vertessy</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></span></p> <p>With yet another coral bleaching event underway on the Great Barrier Reef, we’re reminded of the tragic consequences of climate change.</p> <p>Even if we manage to stop the planet warming beyond 1.5℃ this century, <a href="https://theconversation.com/mass-starvation-extinctions-disasters-the-new-ipcc-reports-grim-predictions-and-why-adaptation-efforts-are-falling-behind-176693">scientists predict</a> up to 90% of tropical coral reefs will be severely damaged.</p> <p>But we believe there’s a chance the Great Barrier Reef can still survive. What’s needed is ongoing, active management through scientific interventions, alongside rapid, enormous cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>In 2020, the federal government announced the <a href="https://gbrrestoration.org/">Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program</a>, which aims to help coral reefs adapt to the effects of warming oceans. It included <a href="https://theconversation.com/if-we-can-put-a-man-on-the-moon-we-can-save-the-great-barrier-reef-121052">research and development</a> funding into 35 cutting-edge technologies that could be deployed at large scale, from cloud brightening to seeding reefs with heat-tolerant corals.</p> <p>Now, two years into the effort, we’re seeing a number of breakthroughs that bring us renewed hope for the reef’s future.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453786/original/file-20220323-23-5njdpu.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="Coral in aquariums" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453786/original/file-20220323-23-5njdpu.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">Coral aquaculture research at the National Sea Simulator.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Roslyn Budd/Budd Photography</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <h2>Bleaching on the reef</h2> <p>Aerial surveys of the entire reef are currently underway to determine the extent and severity of current bleaching. These should be complete before the end of March.</p> <p>Meanwhile, United Nations’ reef monitoring delegates are visiting the Great Barrier Reef this week to determine whether its World Heritage status should be downgraded.</p> <p>Early indications suggest bleaching is most severe in areas of greatest accumulated heat stress, particularly in the area around Townsville. In some places, water temperatures have reached <a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/dire-warning-great-barrier-reef-un-inspection-begins-climate-council-briefing/">3℃ higher</a> than normal.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453788/original/file-20220323-17-hqiq7k.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="Bleached coral" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453788/original/file-20220323-17-hqiq7k.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">It seems bleaching is most severe in the area around Townsville.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">AIMS</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453789/original/file-20220323-21-133k5nm.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453789/original/file-20220323-21-133k5nm.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">Aerial surveys are underway to determine the extent and severity of current bleaching.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">LTMP</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>Researchers involved in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program are examining a wide range of interventions to repair coral reefs. Unlike current reef restoration efforts, which are done by hand on a few square metres of reef, these interventions are designed to be applied at tremendous scales – across thousands of square kilometres.</p> <p>Major scientific, technological, process, communication and management breakthroughs are required to see this become successful. We’re pleased to report that we’re already seeing the first successes, with others becoming more likely as research and development continues.</p> <h2>Early success stories</h2> <p>One key family of possible interventions involves culturing and deploying millions of heat-tolerant corals onto selected reefs.</p> <p>Over the last two years, the research team has <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41396-022-01203-0">accelerated the natural adaptation</a> of several coral species to warmer temperatures, allowing them to survive up to an additional four weeks of 1℃ excess heat stress. We believe a total of eight weeks of 1℃ excess heat stress can be achieved.</p> <p>This level of additional heat tolerance can make a real difference for reef survival if we can limit greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453792/original/file-20220323-27-1opweqt.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="A diver experimenting in the reef" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453792/original/file-20220323-27-1opweqt.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">Reef interventions are designed to be applied across thousands of square kilometres.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Marie Roman</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>We’ve also developed <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Carly-Randall/publication/351513035_Enhancing_Coral_Survival_on_Deployment_Devices_With_Microrefugia/links/609b646f92851c490fd33269/Enhancing-Coral-Survival-on-Deployment-Devices-With-Microrefugia.pdf">novel seeding devices</a>, which allow mass delivery of juvenile corals to reefs in a way that enhances their survival, paving the way for larger field trials.</p> <p>Seeding heat-tolerant corals onto the reef will require significant improvements in coral aquaculture – the process of raising healthy coral in an aquarium before transporting them to the Great Barrier Reef. While current methods are limited to producing and deploying a few thousand corals per year, new advanced methods are designed to produce tens of millions per year – faster and cheaper than ever before.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453784/original/file-20220323-23-1gwwqle.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453784/original/file-20220323-23-1gwwqle.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">Advances in reef interventions must be paired with cuts to emissions.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Roslyn Budd/Budd Photography</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>Another breakthrough relates to the ongoing development of new models and the data to calibrate them.</p> <p>These are set to vastly improve our ability to predict where interventions are best deployed, and how well they’ll function. Early modelling results suggest even at a modest scale, well-targeted interventions could be enough to shift the state of individual reefs from terminal decline to survival over several decades.</p> <h2>4 conditions for lasting benefit</h2> <p>For these early breakthroughs to bring lasting benefit at such tremendous scales, four key conditions must be met:</p> <ol> <li> <p>interventions will have to be readily scalable and affordable. That means methods and technologies now being trialled in labs and on small patches of reef will have to be automated, mass-produced, up-sized and delivered in ways not previously considered feasible. All of this will take significant investment</p> </li> <li> <p>interventions must be safe and acceptable to regulators and the public</p> </li> <li> <p>a range of people, especially Traditional Owners of reef sea-country, must be involved in the effort. This includes through consultation, in decision-making and design</p> </li> <li> <p>most importantly, global emissions must be brought rapidly under control, ideally to keep warming to under 1.5℃ this century.</p> </li> </ol> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453790/original/file-20220323-25-1i9nfub.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453790/original/file-20220323-25-1i9nfub.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">Much of the Great Barrier Reef was in the early stages of recovery following prior bleaching events.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">LTMP</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453791/original/file-20220323-27-ab8o2u.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="Grey fish swim over coral" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453791/original/file-20220323-27-ab8o2u.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">A healthy Great Barrier Reef is home to at least 1,625 species of fish.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">LTMP</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>Over the coming months, the program will be conducting more trials on the reef. Alongside recent advances by other programs, such as approaches to control coral-eating crown of thorns starfish, there’s now real promise that a combined intervention at scale can be successful.</p> <h2>Saving the reef</h2> <p>Imagine a world where coral reefs have largely disappeared from the world. The few remaining reefs are a shadow of what they once were: grey, broken, covered in weeds and devoid of colourful fish.</p> <p>Millions of people who’ve depended on reefs must turn to other livelihoods, which may contribute to <a href="https://theconversation.com/mass-starvation-extinctions-disasters-the-new-ipcc-reports-grim-predictions-and-why-adaptation-efforts-are-falling-behind-176693">climate-related migration</a>. Imagine, too, how we’d feel knowing it could have been prevented.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453793/original/file-20220323-19-1tl8evu.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img alt="" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/453793/original/file-20220323-19-1tl8evu.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" /></a><span class="caption">The program will be conducting more on-reef trials in coming months.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Marie Roman</span>, <span class="license">Author provided</span></span></p> <p>We are hopeful for an alternative vision for the future of the world’s reefs. It’s one in which the amazing beauty and diversity, and the huge global economic benefits, are intact and thriving well into the next century.</p> <p>The difference between these two possible futures depends on choices we make right now. To save our reefs, we must simultaneously mitigate global warming and adapt to impacts already locked in. Neither alone will be enough. <img alt="The Conversation" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/178898/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" /></p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-hardisty-786409">Paul Hardisty</a>, CEO, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-institute-of-marine-science-1086">Australian Institute of Marine Science</a></em>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/david-mead-1043572">David Mead</a>, Executive Director of Strategic Development at Australian Institute of Marine Science, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-institute-of-marine-science-1086">Australian Institute of Marine Science</a></em>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rob-vertessy-7641">Rob Vertessy</a>, Enterprise Professor in the School of Engineering, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></span></p> <p>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/saving-the-great-barrier-reef-these-recent-research-breakthroughs-give-us-renewed-hope-for-its-survival-178898">original article</a>.</p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The <a href="https://gbrrestoration.org/">Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program</a> is a partnership between the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, CSIRO, the Queensland University of Technology, James Cook University, the University of Queensland and Southern Cross University. The first phase of the 10-year research and development program is funded through the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.</span></span></span></span> </span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/3" hreflang="en">Featured Content</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-03/copyrightaims_creditmarieroman_rrap2021_assistedgeneflow_fnq-3_1200px.jpg" width="1200" height="900" alt="SCUBA divers underwater next to large boulder coral" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 23 Mar 2022 21:57:32 +0000 kate 3945 at https://www.aims.gov.au Nation's investment in AIMS - Statement by AIMS CEO, Dr Paul Hardisty https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/nations-investment-aims-statement-aims-ceo-dr-paul-hardisty <h1 class="au-header-heading">Nation&#039;s investment in AIMS - Statement by AIMS CEO, Dr Paul Hardisty</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Tue, 2022-03-22 11:05</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>The announcement by the Prime Minister today for $63.6 million of Australian Government funding for AIMS is an important investment in our nation’s marine science.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>This year marks AIMS’ golden anniversary. Fifty years of important scientific research, from Ningaloo in the west, across the Top End to the Great Barrier Reef, has enabled the nation and the world to gain unique insights into tropical marine ecosystems. With this knowledge AIMS has developed globally relevant and innovative research solutions that deliver positive impact.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The funding announced today has three components which will help AIMS to continue its mission to understand and solve the large-scale, complex and emerging challenges facing Australia’s vast and remote northern oceans.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>(1)          $29.7 million towards AIMS’ annual core research funding, reflecting the increased operating costs of conducting this world leading research in Australia’s remote tropical waters.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The allocation acknowledges the contribution that AIMS’ scientific research makes to protecting our oceans, and to the sustainable productivity of marine industries. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>As noted in the most recent <em><a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="29c6521d-220f-42f9-b5c3-85ab73181079" href="/node/2738">AIMS Index of Marine Industry</a>,</em> Australia’s “Blue Economy” contributes more than $80 billion annually to the national economy, is 3.7% of our GDP and employs more than 340,000 people.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>(2)          $5.3 million to complete a detailed design of a new state-of-the-art marine research vessel to replace the RV Cape Ferguson which joined AIMS’ research fleet in 2000. The Cape Ferguson has been the work horse of AIMS’ Great Barrier Reef field research and monitoring program for over 20 years, covering as much as 15,000 nautical miles during 270 sea days a year. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>She has however now reached the end of her operational life, and will need to be replaced this decade with a new vessel that incorporates hybrid low-emissions propulsion, better sea-keeping, and the latest technology platforms for integrated data collection. This will enable Australia to protect the iconic Great Barrier Reef and support the industries and jobs that depend on it, particularly as it faces warming ocean temperatures and other pressures from climate change. </span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="c061bf37-3623-492f-94f5-e6f800fcad1e" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-03/copyrightaims_creditmarieroman_rvcapeferguson_tsv_2019-9_1200px.jpg" width="1200" height="676" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>RV Cape Ferguson sits off the wharf at AIMS' Cape Cleveland site.</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span>(3)          $28.6 million to complete design and construction of a new wharf at our Cape Cleveland site south of Townsville. Major movements in coastal sediment have rendered the existing infrastructure unable to berth our research vessels, which are required to stand-off some distance from the wharf and use small boat transfers to shuttle live specimens of coral and other marine animals from the ship to aquariums at the National Sea Simulator. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The wharf remediation project will return to operation the only major research vessel access facility located in a scientific protected zone in Australia.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>This funding package will enable AIMS to provide the research knowledge to ensure our tropical oceans continue to produce sustainable wealth and enjoyment for generations to come and enable Australia to maintain its position as a leader in tropical marine science. </span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.pm.gov.au/media/63-million-support-great-barrier-reef-science"><span><span>Read the announcement</span></span></a></p> <p><a href="https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/tANcCKdLDA1iw8B">Footage for media at this link</a></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Media contact</strong></p> <p>John Liston, Corporate Communication Manager; <a href="mailto:j.liston@aims.gov.au">j.liston@aims.gov.au</a>, 0407 102 684</p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5070/edit" hreflang="en">Solar panels at the AIMS Cape Cleveland site, aerial</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-05/copyrightaims_creditjoegioffre_solartsv_1_800px.jpg" width="800" height="500" alt="Aerial view of solar panels at the AIMS Cape Cleveland site" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 22 Mar 2022 00:05:50 +0000 kate 3943 at https://www.aims.gov.au Celebrating a Fulbright Scholarship Recipient https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/celebrating-fulbright-scholarship-recipient <h1 class="au-header-heading">Celebrating a Fulbright Scholarship Recipient</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/55" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">j.hurford</span></span> <span>Tue, 2022-03-08 10:29</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em><strong>Emily Lester will swap the temperate waters of Western Australia with the tropical waters of Hawaii. Marine scientist and ocean enthusiast, Emily has been awarded a prestigious <a href="https://www.fulbright.org.au/">Fulbright Future Scholarship</a> to develop a novel approach for rapid assessment of ecosystem health. Dr Lester is just one of many successful women at AIMS to celebrate this International Women’s Day. </strong></em>  </p> <p>Diving in from a young age and enjoying magical places like Ningaloo Reef, Emily always knew she would be destined for a career below the water. </p> <p>“I’ve always been fascinated by the ocean. Scuba diving and free diving sparked my curiosity and gave me a strong sense of stewardship for our oceans,” said Emily. </p> <p>“Over time I have seen these beautiful places placed under pressure.” </p> <p>She has witnessed reef-wide coral bleaching events, seen whale sharks with scars from boat propellers, and observed marine heatwaves reduce animal populations within ecosystems.  </p> <p>“Seeing these pressures on our marine ecosystems, both here in WA and around the world, drives me to produce high calibre science to inform decision makers, with the aim to change the current trajectory of our oceans,” she said.  </p> <p>Dr Lester’s early career research focussed on completing an AIMS-supervised PhD at the <a href="https://www.uwa.edu.au/oceans-institute">University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute</a> to determine how the presence of reef sharks altered important fish behaviours and the subsequent effect to the ecosystem.  </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div alt="women scientists on small vessel holding a model of a shark" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="3ff42fa6-e525-49ec-b03f-eedce1ec1089" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-03/emily-lester-research-shark-model_800px.jpg" width="800" height="501" alt="women scientists on small vessel holding a model of a shark" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Dr Emily Lester (right) in the field holding a model of a shark during her PhD.</figcaption> </figure> <p>“Reef sharks can alter behaviours of fish, such as the time spent foraging and where in the water column they spend their time,” said Emily. “Interactions are also influenced by other fish, demonstrating the complex relationships between marine animals and their behaviours in the environment.”  </p> <p>Emily’s current work at AIMS as a Postdoctoral Fellow, is to research changes in fish populations and their structure throughout the Indian Ocean and in particular at the Chagos Archipelago (a group of coral atolls in the British Indian Ocean Territory). </p> <p>“Fish play important roles to the health of coral reefs,” said Dr Lester. “Understanding how fish populations are changing can help us forecast potential pressures if those roles are reduced.”  </p> <p>Swapping reef predators for the vegetarians of reef ecosystems, Emily will travel to Hawaii, as a <a href="https://www.fulbright.org.au/current-scholars/#Emily-lester">2022 recipient</a> of the Fulbright Future Scholarship, funded by The Kinghorn Foundation. </p> <p>The premier research and study exchange scholarship program between Australia and the United States, enables Emily to work with Dr Liz Madin, a global expert on coral reef conservation ecology based at the University of Hawai’i.  </p> <p>The scholarship supports Emily to expand upon her PhD research and to gain a greater understanding of the forces that structure coral reef ecosystems and, in turn, identify tools that can be used to quantify these forces and aid coral reef conservation.  </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div alt="Woman receiving scholarship award with Fulbright representatives" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="332d3001-f004-43a8-91de-c0174c390d54" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-03/emily-lester-cg-fulbright_chair_800px.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="Woman receiving scholarship award with Fulbright representatives" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption>Dr Emily Lester (centre) with US Consulate General David Gainer (right) and Fulbright Board Chair Larry Lopez (left). Image: courtesy of the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association.</figcaption> </figure> <p>“The Fulbright Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity to exchange views with world leaders in the field of coral reef conservation and produce lasting collaborations,” she said.  </p> <p>“Through studying the grazing patterns of herbivorous fish, I will be developing an innovative monitoring tool to improve rapid assessment of ecosystem health for reef managers.” </p> <p>Emily joins previous recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship, Taryn Foster (2019) and Stacy Jupiter (2002) - two AIMS – affiliated researchers.  </p> <p>AIMS supports an internal Equity, Diversity and Gender (EDGE) Working Group, which was awarded <a href="https://www.sciencegenderequity.org.au/athena-swan-bronze-awardees/">Athena Swan Bronze status</a> in 2020 for its commitments to improving gender equity, diversity and inclusion. </p> <p>“Working at AIMS has provided me the opportunity to work with, and be mentored by, women who are leaders in the field of marine science,” said Emily. “I am constantly inspired by my colleagues and the cutting-edge work they are doing.”<br />  </p> <blockquote><h4><em>“I am passionate about women in science and believe that visible role models are essential for inspiring the next generation of scientists.” </em></h4> </blockquote> <p>The Fulbright Program celebrated 75-years last year and has had more than 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds participate in the Program since its inception. </p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5724/edit" hreflang="en">emily-lester-research-turtle-model_800px.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-03/emily-lester-research-turtle-model_800px.jpg" width="800" height="530" alt="woman scientist on small vessel holding model of sea turtle" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 07 Mar 2022 23:29:18 +0000 j.hurford 3939 at https://www.aims.gov.au World’s first library of underwater biological sounds to monitor changing marine life https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/worlds-first-library-underwater-biological-sounds-monitor-changing-marine-life <h1 class="au-header-heading">World’s first library of underwater biological sounds to monitor changing marine life</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Fri, 2022-02-18 08:53</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Move over Spotify, marine experts across the world are working together to create a global platform containing the sounds of underwater life, to monitor the changing environment and inform marine conservation.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The open-access Global Library of Underwater Biological Sounds (GLUBS) is the proposal of 17 experts from nine countries, including Australia, and will use artificial intelligence (AI) and citizen science.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>It will contain the signature sounds of mammals such as whales, as well as invertebrates, fish and crustaceans, many of which are nocturnal or hard to find, making visual observations difficult. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The team’s paper, </span></span></span><em><span><span><span><a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fevo.2022.810156/full">Sounding the Call for a Global Library of Biological Underwater Sounds</a>,</span></span></span></em><span><span><span> published in </span></span></span><em><span><span><span>Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution</span></span></span></em><span><span><span>, calls for a workshop this year, bringing marine scientists together with digital experts to realise the long-held dream.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="4e5633ed-7d3a-4c82-a167-a7b2afe58eed" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item"> <iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//youtu.be/Lye5Pj0zkYw&amp;max_width=560&amp;max_height=315&amp;hash=5cPHtw_0DTCZnovGwiRHonIqfC8gYrpemKbxhftlGRU" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="560" height="315" class="media-oembed-content" title="Sounds from below the sea - calling for the world’s first library of underwater biological sounds"></iframe></div> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>Examples of the sounds from the sea</em></figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The lead author, AIMS marine acoustics scientist Dr Miles Parsons, said listening in on life in marine, brackish and freshwaters, allowed scientists to monitor changing diversity, distribution and abundance, and identify new species. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“Using the acoustic properties of underwater soundscapes, we can characterise an ecosystem’s type and condition,” he said.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>“Collectively there are now many millions of recording hours around the world that could potentially be assessed.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“With biodiversity in decline worldwide, and humans relentlessly altering underwater soundscapes, we need to document, quantify, and understand the sources of underwater animal sounds before they potentially disappear.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="2ecdc5a4-a7d6-4d55-bf78-cb7ad178cbf4" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-02/in_the_field_with_miles.00_11_07_14.still005_1050px.jpg" width="1050" height="590" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> <figcaption><em>Dr Miles Parsons collects underwater sounds from a coral reef for the Reef Song project, as part of the AIMS-led '<a href="/node/3864">Australian Coral Reef Resilience Initiative</a>' with BHP.</em></figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Besides making sounds for communication, many aquatic species produce ‘passive sounds’ while eating, swimming, and crawling which provided important information about the ecosystem.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The team’s proposed platform will integrate and expand existing libraries around the world to provide an open-access reference library of known and unknown biological sound sources.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>It will include a training platform for AI algorithms to detect and classify sounds, will allow scientists to develop species distribution maps and will include a </span></span></span><span><span><span><span>citizen science component.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Rockefeller University scientist Dr Jesse Ausubel said AI would help scientists better understand the “lyrics” of fish songs.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Of the roughly 250,000 known marine species, scientists believe all 126 mammals emit sounds – the ‘thwop’, ‘muah’, and ‘boop’s of a humpback whale, for example, or the </span></span></span></span><a href="https://bit.ly/3uCX02t"><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>boing</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span><span><a href="https://bit.ly/3uCX02t"> of a minke whale</a></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>.  Audible too are at least 100 invertebrates, 1000 of the world’s 34,000 known fish species, and likely many thousands more.</span></span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5714/edit" hreflang="en">glubs_waveform_image.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2022-02/glubs_waveform_image.jpg" width="1280" height="720" alt="soundwave and speaker graphic over coral reef photo" loading="lazy" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 17 Feb 2022 21:53:53 +0000 kate 3935 at https://www.aims.gov.au