CReefs - The Australian Node

Christmas tree worm.
Photo: John Huisman, Lizard Island

The partnership between BHP Billiton, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the Census of Marine Life and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) will allow Australian reef sites to be included in the CReefs global research initiative.

AIMS is leading a consortium of scientists that will sample and analyse coral reef biodiversity at three key Australian reef sites: the Great Barrier Reef's Heron and Lizard Islands and Ninglaoo Reef in Western Australia.

The consortium includes scientists from the Australian Museum, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Museum Victoria, the Queensland Museum, the South Australian Museum and the Western Australian Museum, as well as the University of Adelaide, Murdoch University, the South Australian Herbarium and the Smithsonian Institution.

The team of international and Australian marine scientists and taxonomists will collect and identify samples during a series of field trips at all three sites over the next four years.

The partnership will also see the implementation of an employee participation program for BHP Billiton staff who will actively engage in the research project by attending field trips and assisting with data collection.

The activities of the field expedition, including new discoveries, may be found on the blog part of this website.

Biodiversity data generated by the research project will be made publicly available through the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS), an initiative of the Census of Marine Life.

To view the latest CReefs Partnership update, click here.

July 15, 2010