Heron Island Research Trip

8 11 2010

Hey everyone,

I just got back from a 9 day research trip at Heron Island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. The trip could not have been any better: great weather, 5+ hours of diving everyday (for research!), and the water temp never dropped below 72. My research team studied the diversity of disturbance sites made by Tuskfish (the aussie version of the sheephead). We ended up discovering a relationship between two fish, graphic tuskies (choerodon graphicus) and variegated wrasse (coris batuensis) which has never before been acknowledged or studied. My group ended up winning the best project award!

Outside of field work, I spent my days: walking around the island, swimming around the island, diving (without a slate in hand), and eating 5 times the day. Every afternoon for 8 days straight, I snorkeled the shipwreck every afternoon, which was awesome to go inside (full of mangrove jack, barramundi cod, coral trout, & crays). In the evenings, we headed to the beach to watch turtles lay eggs and stargaze. I did one scuba dive and the rest was all free diving, and my whole class did a cool night dive, where we saw mating turtles, a huge 80 pound Baraccuda, strange nocturnal abalone, and tons of other cool things.

Since I had my camera on me on every research dive, I managed to take a ridiculous amount of photos, here are a few:

Coral Trout

Coral Cod

calamari

Looking out of the wreck

Wobbagong Shark up close and personal

Blue-Spotted Trevally

school day

Hanging out in trees

Hanging out in wrecks

Hanging out with turtles

Tori on the wreck

Almost there

79 degree water! Thanks for the watch Bob! It's been getting a ton of use, for spearing and for research.

My research team

Spontaneous pushups

Flounder

Sleeping turtle

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One response

8 11 2010
Maggie Reep

Incredible pictures! Looks like a brilliant research trip!

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