Over the past two weeks marine scientists from the Coral Sea Foundation (Dr Andy Lewis, Dr Cristiana Damiano, Dr JP Hobbs and Ms Pauline Narvaez) have been guiding three groups of students from The Geelong College through a coral reef ecology field course at the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station.
The students have undertaken a series of practical activities on the local reefs and have explored numerous locations around the island. This has given them an excellent overview of the diversity of reef habitats and the recovery of the coral community.
Dr Lewis has been researching and guiding at Lizard Island and elsewhere for decades. His Reef EcoImages and other photography is available here, and he has contributed many entries to the Lizard Island Field Guide. He is able to use his long-term photo-monitoring imagery from the Clam Garden site to clearly illustrate the growth rates of juvenile corals that are driving the reef recovery. The following photos show how corals have grown around the same White Clam over the past three years.
The students engaged in reef surveys to measure the number and diversity of these new corals.
Students from The Geelong College have been visiting the Station every year since the early 1990s. Its our longest-term school group.