Location: Great Barrier Reef, Australia (Central Townsville)
Berths: Minimum 4 berths
Duration/Timing: October-December 2021
Necessary Equipment: A diving compressor, dive tanks & dive weights.
Using the GBR as a natural laboratory, the research proposed here will investigate the ability of surviving corals to grow, compete, and recover across a natural gradient of bleaching disturbance. By combining multiple approaches from the organism to ecosystem level, this project will employ cutting-edge equipment and methodology to significantly advance the study of coral reef recovery and resilience now and into the future.
The primary goal of this project is to delve into the poorly understood aspects of coral reef dynamics now and in the future, specifically investigating how species interactions are expected to influence the structure, function, and recovery of coral reef ecosystems in response to a changing climate. Specific targets include:
(i) generating a comprehensive, open-access data set on the benthic community composition and species interactions in novel ecosystems across the Great Barrier Reef
(ii) present at multiple scientific conferences to spread preliminary results and findings as well as published results to other researchers and the scientific community; and ultimately,
(iii) publish multiple peer-reviewed publications in high- impact journals.
Kristen Brown is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland.
She has participated in approximately 20 research expeditions in 9 countries, over half as lead research scientist, logging over 600 scientific dives.