The long-awaited volume reporting on discoveries made on the 2011 Kermadec Expedition is now hot off the press.
In late 2011 we participated in an expedition to the remote Kermadec Islands north of New Zealand as part of a collaborative project with the Auckland Museum to survey the biodiversity of the area. Some of our discoveries have just been published, revealing new species, records for species not previously known to occur among the islands, and, to us personally, just how beautiful and species-rich a fully protected marine environment can be.
The Kermadec Islands are of special interest for marine biologists because they straddle tropical and temperate zones, and, being so far from other land, are important stepping-stone habitats for marine life.
A special issue of the Bulletin of the Auckland Museum has just been published, which details some of the results from the expedition. Seven of the 24 papers in the volume are authored by Australian Museum Research Institute staff and associates, with an additional three papers produced by direct networking and Australian Museum loans.
Among the discoveries are a new species of octopus, five new species of shrimps and crabs, a snail, a new sponge and a new species of hydroid together with new records for eighteen coastal fish species from 12 families. This has added much new type and other material to our collections. The specimens are still being studied and the entire collection will be a valuable resource for future reference.
The papers describe a number of new species and document many new distribution records that not only show connectivity with the Australian fauna but also provide new information on far-reaching western Pacific links.
Dr Shane Ahyong, Senior Research Scientist, Marine Invertebrates
Mark McGrouther, Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Dr Steve Keable, Collection Manager, Marine Invertebrates
Dr Mandy Reid, Collection Manager, Malacology
Our participation in the expedition was made possible through a grant provided from the Australian Museum Foundation from the Patricia Porritt Collection Acquisition Fund.
The papers from the bulletin are freely available at http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/collections-research/research/publications/bulletin/number-20-kermadec
Kermadec Biodiscovery Expedition 2011, List of contents