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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
|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)|
|Photographer||Gary Joseph Cranitch (Queensland Museum)|
|Journalist||Angus Livingston (Contractor)|
|Writer||James Woodford (Independent)|
|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 employee||Megan Davis (BHP- Billiton)|
|BHP employee||Mark Daniell (BHP- Billiton)|