Document: Lizard Island Research Station Newsletter 2007

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2007 edition of annual Lizard Island Research Station newsletter.

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Abstract

The station's redevelopment has reached its halfway point and operations are already running more smoothly thanks to new, purpose-built facilities. However, it is challenging to keep the station functioning more-or-less as usual while managing a $4.75 million project that involves substantial building works of an unusual nature in a remote location.
Through these "interesting times", the goodwill of everyone at the station - researchers, student groups, our fabulous staff, the contractor, on-site builders, volunteers - and at the Museum has been enormous, helpful and rewarding. In addition to raising the funds for the upgrade project, extraordinary practical support is provided by people within the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and it is a great privilege to work with them. When the project is complete in 2010, the station will be well set up for many more years of research and education on coral reefs.

There is an urgency about research into the effects of climate change on coral reefs. Because they can thrive in a very limited temperature range, reef-building corals are like canaries in a mine-shaft - and they are singing loudly. Projects related to climate change were proposed by no fewer than 80% of the applicants for the inaugural postdoctoral fellowships and 67% of applicants for the doctoral fellowships. Each of the five new fellowships awarded for 2008 addresses climate change issues either directly or indirectly (pp. 4-6). Buzz-words aside, we do need to know how reef organisms interact with variables such as temperature, pH, light, turbidity, habitat and food
availability. There is a very long way to go in this research. The facilities provided at LIRS, and those still to come, will enable researchers to discover these and other things, providing the basis for the best possible management of coral reef resources whatever the future holds.

Anne Hoggett and Lyle Vail
Directors, Lizard Island Research Station

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