Updates & Media

Whale Season

August 4, 2015

Humpback Whale

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 3 As we landed in Aitutaki, the science team was excited to discover that it was humpback whale season. Each year between July and October these majestic animals pass by the Cook Islands on …

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Charismatic Coral Cover Indicators

July 30, 2015

Chaetodon ornatissimus

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 2 One of the most charismatic families of reef fish are the butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae). We’ve written about these species in previous blogs, but the importance of these species as an indicator of reef health …

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Addressing Acanthaster in Aitutaki

July 28, 2015

Aitutaki Acanthaster

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Expedition Log: Cook Islands – Day 1 Over the last four years, the Global Reef Expedition (GRE) has focused on the Pacific and Indian Ocean.  These reefs are vastly different from Caribbean reefs, especially with regards to the numbers of …

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BIOT’s Bounty – Part Two

July 2, 2015

Bleaching event at BIOT's reefs

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Expedition Log: BIOT – Day 27 In many ways, BIOT is a biogeographic crossroad in the central Indian Ocean.  The archipelago is located in an area affected by extreme climate variability.  In adjacent parts of the Indian Ocean, many of …

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BIOT’s Bounty – Part One

June 30, 2015

BIOT's reefs

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Expedition Log: BIOT – Day 26 My initial thoughts after a diving on BIOT’s reefs can be summed up in a few words: remote, largely inaccessible, seemingly untouched, and flourishing with life. BIOT’s Reefs teeming with life like these Golden …

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Changing Coral Communities

June 22, 2015

Diploastrea heliopora from Fiji

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Expedition Log: BIOT – Day 25 Before starting a research mission in a new area, I compile lists of all the species of corals and fishes that are known to occur in an area.  For some areas, such as BIOT, …

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The Aquatic Dance of Turtles

June 17, 2015

green sea turtle mating

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Expedition Log: BIOT – Day 24 While traveling from one survey site to another, the ground-truthing team came across two sea turtles mating.  They appeared to be green turtles (Chelonia mydas), currently most abundant of the sea turtle species.  Green …

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Green Sea Turtles Mating (BIOT)

Photo by Steve Saul

green sea turtle mating

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The secret seagrass beds of BIOT

June 15, 2015

Seagrass beds of BIOT

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Expedition Log: BIOT – Day 23 Seagrass beds are found in many tropical coral reef lagoons around they world.  They provide important ecosystem services, including sediment retention, juvenile fish habitat, and coastal protection.  Historically, seagrasses have also been used as …

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Life and Death on the Reef

June 10, 2015

Life and death on the reef

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Expedition Log: BIOT – Day 22 The grim reaper comes quickly if you are a coral. Superbly adapted to their life in the shallow ocean and so successful that they can build some of the biggest structures created by living …

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