Back to One Tree Reef with the masters students!!

IMG_3517Last week we were fortunate enough to visit One Tree Island Research Station (OTIRS), in the southern Great Barrier Reef with our MARS5007 Coral Reefs and Climate Change class. Due COVID-19 and other logistical constraints, this was the first time we have been back to One Tree with the masters students since 2019. It was a really fantastic trip as 17 masters students and 4 staff from the School of Geosciences explored the diverse range of habitats that characterise the pristine One Tree reef coral ecosystem.

The field trip has several objectives for the students: (1) gain an understand the main characteristics of coral reef environments; (2) investigate the main processes operating at different spatial & temporal scales that influence these environments; (3) design & successfully complete a significant independent group research project; (4) develop their independent & critical thinking, ability to analyse/integrate (critically) relevant scientific reef data, literature, improve scientific writing and presentation skills, and (5) gain experience working in a group environment.

The research projects were incredibly interesting and diverse, such as investigating coral island geomorphodynamics, crown of thorns feeding behaviours, the relationship between sea cucumber distribution and reef habitats, and the effect of hydrodynamic energy on coral growth form and diversity on the reef flat. The students will now be furiously analysing and interpreting the data they collected and we look forward to hearing about their discoveries later in the semester.

In summary, it was a magic trip! And many thanks to the OTIRS managers Matt and Yas who looked after us so well and also the other Geoscience teaching staff (Dr Tommy Fellowes, Phd students – Lachie Perris and Ratneel Deo) who supported the students learning on the reef.




 Ps. An yes I know the red apron is amazing!

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