Wavelength research assistance
Wavelength has free spaces available to help researchers to access the outer reef for field studies. These positions are mostly coordinated via collaboration with James Cook University and the ARC Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. If you are a researcher and wish to inquire about the feasibility of a particular project contact us.
Current crew research
Wavelength has a research partnership with Assoc. Prof Dave Suggett and Dr Emma Camp at University of Technology Sydney, Future Reefs Program. This research project started in February 2018 following on from earlier field work and is studying the optimisation of coral propagation specific to GBR conditions. In the last 20 years or so there has been an ever increasing interest in coral reef rehabilitation at many locations around the world. Despite this, the total area of rehabilitated reefs worldwide stands at about only 22 hectares. The cost and difficulties of up-scaling coral rehabilitation mean it is not suitable as an alternative to action to protect reefs. The costs of rehabilitating a damaged reef are vastly higher than preventing the damage in the fist place, and the solution is unlikely to be as good as the original. However, if improvements can be made to the efficiency and cost effectiveness of coral propagation it can potentially be useful on a local scale and can also be a very important tool in researching coral resilience and adaptation.
Each coral reef region has specific circumstances and potential obstacles for reef rehabilitation. Historically the approach on the the GBR has been to manage the factors that affect coral resilience, like fishing pressure and water quality, and rely on natural recovery from impacts such as cyclones. This approach has changed somewhat since the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events with an increased interest in researching potential interventions to help recovery from major environmental impacts and adaptation to climate change.
Johanna is currently working on her PhD utilising her virology experience in studies on coral disease and interactions with certain species of farming damsel fish.
The Eye on the Reef program is one of the best ways to get involved in helping monitor the health of the reef. The basic level of survey is Rapid Monitoring, which passengers can learn to do quite quickly. Our crew carry out Tourism Weekly Monitoring, and also the more complex surveys which are Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS). It’s possible to get trained up to undertake these surveys and contribute to knowledge of what’s happening on the reef. In addition, Eye on the Reef has an App which works along side its Sightings Network to be able to log significant creature or event sightings, including Crown of Thorns starfish occurence.