Ningaloo Reef 2009 expedition
Wednesday 13 May 2009


WA sunset

 

The CReefs team is heading back to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia for an expedition that will run from 13 May to 3 June 2009. This follows the first CReefs Ningaloo trip, held in June last year.
 
This time around, the team will set up camp about 100km from last year's location, to sample a slightly different area. They will be staying at remote Ningaloo Station, an old sheep station near the coast.
 
Scientists will be installing Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS), to be collected during the Ningaloo trip next year. The ARMS have already been successfully deployed and retrieved from Lizard Island in the northern Great Barrier Reef. The devices are pegged to the ocean floor and sea creatures take up residence in them. They are being used around the world by CReefs researchers as a standardised way to measure the health, diversity and biological makeup of coral reefs.
 
 
This will be a big expedition, with more than 30 people on site at different times during the three weeks, including researchers, photographers, support staff and BHP Billiton employees.
 
The purpose of the expeditions is to use 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.
 
The Ningaloo expedition, as well as those to Lizard and Heron Islands, will also provide the opportunity to re-collect species currently in museum collections but for which tissue samples for genetic analysis are not available.

List of participants



Science
 
Polychaetes Pat Hutchings (Australian Museum)
Polychaetes Maria Capa (Australian Museum)
Polychaetes  Lynda Avery (Museum Victoria)
Polychaetes Robin Wilson (Museum Victoria)
Amphipods Lauren Hughes (Australian Museum)
Isopods Niel Bruce (Museum of Tropical Queensland)
Fish parasites Holly Heiniger (University of Queensland)
Fish parasites Tom Cribb (University of Queensland)
Macroalgae Fred Gurgel (University of Adelaide)
Macroalgae and seagrasses Rainbo Dixon (Murdoch University)
Molluscs Corey Whisson (Museum of Western Australia)
Molluscs Clay Bryce (Museum of Western Australia)
Sponges Jane Fromont (Museum of Western Australia)
Molecular genetics Abbigail Fusaro (Ocean Genome Legacy Foundation)
Soft Corals Monika Schlacher (Queensland Museum)
Soft Corals Merrick Ekins (Queensland Museum)
Crustacea Rob Lasley (Florida Museum of Natural History)
Echinoderms François Michonneau (Florida Museum of Natural History Bryozoa Phil Bock, Museum Victoria)
Molecular genetics Laetitia Plaisance (Smithsonian Institution)
   
Support  
Photographer Gary Cranitch (Queensland Museum)
Project Leader/coxswain/general diver Julian Caley (AIMS)
Manager logistics/coxswain/general diver Shawn Smith  (AIMS)
Data manager Gavin Ericson  (AIMS)
Coxswain/general diver Collette Bagnato (University of Queensland)
Coxswain/general diver Gavin Dally  (Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory)
Cook Anthony Grant  (Contractor)
Journalist Angus Livingston (Contractor)
   
BHP Billiton  
Benn Prowse  
Renee Hodges