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Lizard Island.
Image: Google Earth download.

 

Last year the Australian node of the CReefs project turned up hundreds of new kinds of animals, surprising international researchers who had been systematically exploring waters off two islands on the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef off northwestern Australia, waters long familiar to divers. See CReefs media release.
 
In February 2009 researchers went back to Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef for their first return visit. Each site will be visited three times during the four-year project
 
During this expedition, researchers again used a diverse range of sampling methods in a wide range of habitats to sample species associated with coral reefs that have not previously been well sampled.
 
These organisms will be identified to operational taxonomic units (OTU) in the field and to species where possible. Follow up analyses will include the description and naming of new species and DNA barcoding.


Lizard Island Research Station.
Image: Trish Hendriks.

 

The Lizard Island expedition also provided the opportunity to re-collect species currently in museum collections but for which tissue samples for genetic analysis are not available.
 
The expedition team, led by AIMS scientist Dr Julian Caley, was based at the Lizard Island Research Station (LIRS), on the northern Great Barrier Reef, 270 km north of Cairns, Queensland.
 
The Research Station is owned and operated by the Australian Museum and is supported by the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and the Coral Reef and Marine Science Foundation.
 
This year's Lizard Island expedition ran from 6 to 27 February 2009.

List of participants


   
Science  
Polychaetes Charlotte Watson (Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory)
Algae Rainbo Dixon (Murdoch University)
Algae Fred Gurgel (University of Adelaide)
Cephalopods Julian Finn (Museum Victoria)
Cephalopods John Ahearn (Melbourne University)
Parasites in Jellyfish Jo Browne (Museum Victoria)
Tanaid shrimp Magda Blazewicz (University of Lodz)
Isopods Niel Bruce (Museum of Tropical Queensland)
Echinoderms Ashley Miskelly (Independent)
Echinoderms François Michonneau (Florida Museum of Natural History)
Pycnogonids Claudia Arango Carvajal (Queensland Museum)
Bryozoans Philip Bock (Museum Victoria)
Molluscs Anders Hallan (University of Wollongong)
Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures & Pocillopora heads

Molly Timmers (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Crustacea Arthur Anker (Florida Museum of Natural History)
Crustacea Rob Lasley (Florida Museum of Natural History)
   
Media  
Photographer Gary Joseph Cranitch (Queensland Museum)
Journalist Angus Livingston (Contractor)
Writer James Woodford (Independent)
   
Support  
Data manager Greg Coleman (AIMS)
Principle investigator Julian Caley (AIMS)
Project manager- field logistics Shawn Smith (AIMS)
Boat driver Kade Mills (Museum Victoria)
Cook Charlie Graham (Contractor)
Field/lab assistant Stephy Mifsud (Independent)
   
BHP-B  
BHP employee Megan Davis (BHP- Billiton)
BHP employee Mark Daniell (BHP- Billiton)