North Stradbroke Island Research Trip

5 10 2010

Hey Everyone!
For the past 8 days, I’ve spent my time doing research at the University of Queensland Moreton Bay Research Station on North Stradbroke Island. We performed research projects for the majority of the trip; My project studied the relationship between fish diversity and tidal level in estuarine environments. I was able to use some really cool equipment: a BUV (Baited Underwater Video) system to capture carnivorous creatures on film and huge seine nets to collect fish samples from the beaches. Alongside of our projects, we also did turtle necropsies, multiple plankton and invertebrates labs, beach walks (day and night), dugong/whale watching, and snorkeling as a class. Outside of class and research, I did a little spearfishing and sandboarding. Here are some photos:

Ian Tibbets: Professor/Fishing Buddy

Flathead: the Australian version of a halibut. They taste great. I cooked it alongside of red snapper and we feasted during an evening lecture.

On our first day, we did some seine netting and snorkeling as a class:

Pulling the seine nets around a bed of seagrass

little flathead

Puffer fish puffed

Golden Trevally swimming out of my picture

Walking the shores of dunwich, we encountered lots of cool sea life. I almost stepped on a blue ring octopus that has venomous saliva and can cause paralysis then death in 30 minutes!

One of the thousands of soldier crabs roaming the beach in front of the research station

Sandboarding by Point Lookout: i spotted 3 humpbacks looking out from the dunes

Smelly green turtle necropsy

digesting worm under microscope in the invertebrates lab

Looking out from Deadman's Beach, deciding whether we should dive today. (we decided not to dive due to dwindling daylight, high winds, and rumors of huge resident bull and white sharks)

On the last day on Straddie, we were thankful for sunshine after 3 days of constant rain. We walked around Point Lookout, where we saw breaching humpbacks and turtles from the cliffside. Afterwards, we did some bodysurfing.

Blue Bottle Jelly (Portuguese Man-of-war) on the beach

Crabs I caught using chum in the sand

At night time, we did some tidal flat walks, in which I got pinched by multiple large, angry crabs, and ate an estuarine prawn alive right out of the silt as a bet. We also did some walks through the cemetery looking for koalas at night, where I was swooped by giant bats and happened to find tons of tree frogs mating in the streets, half of them were ran over, so we moved the remaining ones out of harm’s way.

Here is a little snip clip of my “Straddie Cam” footage:




2 responses

5 10 2010
Maggie Reep

Seany!! It sounds like you are having an incredible time and are already learning so much! I LOVE your pictures, especially the Blue Bottle Jelly, but they all are absolutely beautiful. I am quite jealous 🙂 Thanks for taking the time and writing about your adventures…I will definitely be following!

6 10 2010
Captain Sean M. Lieppman

thanks maggie, glad you like it!

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