Updates & Media

Sessile Sea Squirts

September 16, 2014

Lissoclinum patellum tunicate.

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Tunicates, commonly called sea squirts include a diverse assemblage of invertebrates that are usually attached to the bottom, but also include 10 species that live in the water column.  These invertebrates share some similarities with vertebrates by having a tail, …

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Geomorphology: Large-scale carbonate…

September 15, 2014

Geomorphology

This paper stems from our field research in the Bahamas conducted at the start of the Global Reef expedition. It discusses  how Cay Sal Bank was formed how and why it differs from the rest of the Bahamas. The Bahama …

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Encounter with the Amazing

September 15, 2014

Giant pavona clavus sized against two scientific divers.

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Humans have long been in the habit of naming exceptional trees. The General Sherman sequoia, the Methuselah bristlecone pine, and a certain specimen of Ficus religiosa better known as the Bodhi Tree are three such notable individuals. Humans don’t live …

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Rebirth of the Reef

September 13, 2014

A long dead table acroporid colonized by two table acroporids, Pocillopora, Montipora, branching Acropora and several soft corals.

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The genus Acropora includes the most diverse and abundant corals found on Indo-Pacific reefs, with different species displaying a baffling number of growth forms and color varieties. With over 150 species known to science, these corals often out compete all …

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Hiding in Plain Sight

September 12, 2014

Cuttlefish of the Great Barrier Reef

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The Broadclub Cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)—the second largest species of cuttlefish (to 50 cm)—is the most commonly seen species of cuttlefish on tropical reefs. Though it ranges from the Andaman Sea in the west to as far east as Fiji, this …

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Death by 1000 Cuts

September 11, 2014

A thicket of staghorn coral that was flattened by Cyclone Ita.

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Worldwide, coral reefs are declining at an alarming rate.  This is most apparent in the Caribbean, where reefs have been transformed from coral gardens – 60-70% of the bottom was carpeted in thickets of elkhorn coral and staghorn coral, mountainous …

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Portraying the Life History of…

September 9, 2014

Steephead Parrotfish Chlorurus microrhinos.

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Parrotfishes represent one of the most conspicuous members of the Indo-Pacific coral reef fauna. They are ideal study subjects for addressing questions regarding population and community ecology for several reasons, including their high diversity and abundance, complex reproductive life histories …

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Midshelf Reefs

September 8, 2014

Midshelf Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef

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After diving our first set of offshore Ribbon reefs we began exploring the Green, Pink and Blue Zones on a set of midshelf reefs.  The depths, water clarity and habitat structure are all vastly different from offshore reefs.  Most of …

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Swimming Among Soft Corals of the Great…

September 5, 2014

Colorful Soft Coral Community of the Great Barrier Reef

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The Indo-West Pacific is known for their rich, diverse soft coral (octocoral) communities, and the Ribbon Reefs were no exception.  They are plant-like, resembling trees or bushes, but they are made up of polyps just like a stony coral.  Distinguished …

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Ribbon Reefs

September 4, 2014

Ribbon Reef 7 of the Great Barrier Reef

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For our first three days of research, we are comparing the coral and fish community within three Ribbon Reefs.  Ribbon Reefs form a chain of 10 individual reefs beginning to the north of Cairns and stretching close to 120 km …

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