On the Expedition
Dive into one of the Great Barrier Reef's most spectacular sites - the fringing coral reef surrounding Orpheus Island - to help us better understand the emerging threats facing this landmark site.
Coral diseases are reported to be one of the most significant threats to tropical coral reef ecosystems and an increasing prevalence of disease has been detected along the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef (GBR). By joining this expedition you will be at the forefront of international research into coral reef disease by helping to assess;
- how the reef is recovering from recent cyclones
- any seasonal dynamics that may exist
- the role of light, temperature and water quality on disease progression.
Working across a variety of dive sites you will conduct underwater surveys tagging and photographing diseased areas, which will then be monitored over time to assess the condition of the coral. In the aquarium you will set up and conduct experiments that measure light, temperature, pH and nutrients of the water.
About the Research Area
Located 1189 km (739 miles) northwest of Brisbane, Orpheus Island is only 11 kilometres long and approximately one kilometre wide, most of which is national park dominated by eucalypts with patches of rainforest and grassland. Exploring this unique marine park you’ll find an unusually wide variety of reef habitats, clam gardens as well as submerged indigenous sites and recent shipwrecks.
Part of the Palm group of islands and within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area Orpheus Island offers secluded, sheltered bays, spectacular fringing reefs and stunning scenery.