Along with several other GRG members, including Madhavi Patterson and Stephanie Duce, I recently had the opportunity to present at the Australian Coral Reef Society (ACRS) annual meeting, held in Exmouth, WA. This was a fantastic opportunity to meet with other researchers from around the country and listen to some really interesting talks covering diverse aspects of coral reef research.
For my talk, I presented results on the nature and timing of the initiation of the Holocene reef at One Tree Reef and other sites across the Great Barrier Reef. Primarily using cores drilled in our 2015 joint coring campaign, this project aims to investigate how the “modern” Great Barrier Reef started to grow in its current location once the older Pleistocene reef substrate was flooded, at about ~9,000 years ago. Given this was a period of rapid sea-level rise and climatic change, my research is looking into the composition of the coral and algal communities that first started to grow and their response to the paleo-environmental conditions. This provides a longer-term geological record of how reefs have responded to potential past environmental stress, and served as an interesting comparison to the more recent studies of reef resilience, adaptation, acclimation and recovery which were presented in my conference session at ACRS.
I was honored to be awarded an outstanding student presentation award for my talk, particularly exciting as it is the One Tree Island Research Station Prize. This award generously includes bench fees for future fieldwork at One Tree. Now I’m looking forward to returning for more fieldwork at One Tree!
Image from ACRS
Kelsey’s conference presentation
Snorkeling at Ningaloo during the ACRS student coral ID workshop