Field Notes

August 2022 Shikoku and Kyushu

Author: Andrew Baird In August I had the pleasure and privilege of diving with Dr. Takuma Mezaki of the Kuroshio Biological Research Institute on the rocky reefs of Misaki, Japan. The area is the type location for a number of…

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July 2022 Amami Islands

Author: Andrew Baird Project Phoenix’s hunt for topotypes continued in the magical Amami-Oshima Island in the Ryukyu Archipelago in Japan.  In 1856, the ships of the Northern Pacific US exploring expedition anchored in the south of ‘Amami-Ousima’ (as written in…

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November 2021 Norfolk Island

Project Phoenix has just returned from a collecting trip to Norfolk Island. Norfolk Island (29.03° S; 167.95° E) is one of the most isolated reefs in the Pacific Ocean according to an index developed by the United Nations Environment Programme…

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October 2021 Port Noarlunga Jetty, South Australia

South Australia might not seem like an obvious destination to collect reef-building corals, but it is, in fact, the type location for four nominal species: Caryophyllia australis Milne-Edwards & Haime 1849; Cylicia magna Tenison-Woods, 1878; Homophyllia incrustans Dennant 1906 and…

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October 2021 Vernon Islands

Project Phoenix has just returned from a field trip to the Vernon Islands north of Darwin, Australia. The Top End is a vastly under-explored area for coral reef research. Indeed, there have been only two papers on the coral fauna…

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May 2021 Palms Islands Group Field Trip

Andrew Baird, Tom Bridge, Pete Cowman, Augustine Crosbie, Jeremy Horowitz and Julia Hung have just returned from two weeks on James Cook University’s Orpheus Island Research Station. The aims of the trip were two-fold. Firstly, the hunt for topotypes continues.…

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May 2021 Low Isles Field Trip

The hunt for topotypes at Project Phoenix continues with Andrew Baird, Gus Crosbie and Hanaka Mera spending four days at the research station on Low Isles off Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Low Isles is an important…

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March 2021 Lord Howe Island

Andrew Baird and Tom Bridge have just returned from a week sampling the corals of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park (LHIMP), the world’s southernmost coral reef. Andrew, along with many colleagues from Project Phoenix, has been working to quantify…

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March 2021 Solitary Islands

Andrew Baird has just returned from a field trip to the Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP). The weather and sea conditions were brilliant, with light winds and the deep warm blue of the East Australia Current bathing the outer islands…

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Heron Island Field Trip

Author: Andrew Baird Project Phoenix recently visited Heron Island Research Station in the Capricorn Bunker Group on the Great Barrier Reef in their ongoing hunt for coral topotypes and new species. At least 7 nominal species of Scleractinia have type…

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Myrmidon Reef

Author: Andrew Baird After a 10 hour steam on the Kalinda and a quiet night full of stars; Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and then Venus were all on display, we woke to a glass out in the lagoon on Myrmidon. We…

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The Corals of the SS Yongala

Author: Andrew Baird The SS Yongala is a world famous dive, known especially for the extraordinary fish life it supports, including large schools of giant trevally and barracuda and a couple of monstrous Queensland groupers. The Yongala is not so…

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