Scientists head home from Lizard


Snorkeller at Lizard Island at sunset.
Image: Angus Livingston

 

By Angus Livingston
 
Friday 27 February 2009
 
IT'S TIME to say goodbye to beautiful Lizard Island for another year.
 
Time to pack up the instruments, secure all the samples, and re-learn how to cook for ourselves.
 
This trip was the second CReefs expedition to Lizard and it introduced us to new species, new scientists and new information.
 
For myself, this trip helped me better understand the incredible diversity of this amazing reef.
 
There were so many scientists looking at so many samples... and they all said they were barely scratching the surface.
 
With these trips set to continue for the next couple of years, hopefully we can start to get a more complete picture of what is actually living on and in the reef.
 
Lizard Island meant a chance to meet new species: from an octopus, to shrimp, to Phil Bock's expanding collection of bryzoans.
 
It also meant we added new scientists to the CReefs family.
 
Molluscs, sea spiders, octopuses, shrimp, crabs and sea cucumbers all had people here to study, collect and sample them for the first time under the CReefs banner.
 
Hopefully that trend can continue as the project adds to the base of knowledge about Australia's reefs.
 
It was a large CReefs group this time – about 25 at its largest point – and the camaraderie was excellent.
 
Phil Bock kept the group entertained and highly caffeinated, Molly Timmers handed out nicknames like candy, and the excitable Russian Art Anker was notable for his constant chatter*. (*This may not be entirely true.)
 
Now that the trip is over, everyone can get back to their jobs and leave the sun-kissed beaches of Lizard Island behind... until Ningaloo.