Molluscs galore around Lizard

Anders Hallan snorkelling for molluscs.
Image: Gary Cranitch


Tuesday 24 February 2009
ANDERS Hallan has more molluscs than he knows what to do with.
As the designated mollusc man on this CReefs trip, Anders is the go-to guy whenever someone finds one of these organisms.
And they're finding a lot of them.
"Everyone just brings me stuff," he said.
"I've got more material than I've got time to process.
"Lizard Island is so blessed with gastropods, nudibranchs and the like that Anders believes another couple of trips will be needed to really deal with all the species in the area.
"The mollusc fauna is really rich around here," he said.
"What I'm doing is barely scratching the surface."
Late last week, Anders identified a shell that hadn't been recorded on the Great Barrier Reef before.
His work on Lizard Island might be interesting, but Anders is actually focusing his PhD on an area a long way west of the island – the Gulf of Carpentaria.
The title of his PhD project is "The use of molluscs from the Gulf of Carpentaria as palaeo-environmental proxies and indicators".
Anders takes core samples, searches them for molluscs and then identifies them. In this way he can determine the ecology of the area at the time the mollusc lived.
But before he gets back to the University of Wollongong to continue his PhD, Anders has plenty of work to do on Lizard Island.
"I'll make the information available for anyone who needs it," he said.