As part of ICS2016 we offered the delegates the opportunity of coming and visiting One Tree Island Research Station. It was an optional post-conference fieldtrip and the opportunity was taken by three researchers: Dr Amaia Ruiz de Alegria-Arzaburu, Dr Asuncion Lago-Leston and Dr Daniel L Harris. Amaia and Asun are both Spanish researchers living in Mexico and working in Ensenada (Baja California), Amaia works for UABC and Asuncion for CICESE. They chose to come to try to establish collaborative projects investigating coral environments. Dan, who did his PhD within the GRG and is now working in MARUM, University of Bremen in Germany, came along too with the objective of taking some measurements.
During the five days that we stayed there we:
- Deployed 12 pressure transducers which measured simultaneously in the south, east and northern reef flats.
- Extracted a few sand samples from the northern and southern sand aprons.
- Measured the dimensions of large boulders sitting on the reef flats to investigate past storm events.
- Searched, located and photographed cone shells for potential research collaboration with CICESE.
We also went snorkelling and our visitors, and us, were completely in awe with the beauty of One Tree Reef. We were worried about bleaching given the global bleaching event occurring this year which is really severe in the northern Great Barrier Reef. However, bleaching at One Tree Island seemed similar to other summers, with a bit of bleaching here and there but nothing like what has been reported for the northern GBR. We are crossing our fingers so OTR does not get severe bleaching!
Below are some photos showing the beauty of One Tree Reef. The station is also fantastically kept by our managers Andy and Ashlee whom I want to thank for all their help and support (and friendliness).