As far as my research goes, these particular two sites are not promising for a reciprocal transplant, but we anticipate going to a further south site tomorrow morning for our first deep dive. Additionally, we will be designing temperature/light data logger apparatuses tomorrow for installation at mesophotic and shallow depths. Fortunately, there are some leftover reef cores available at the research station that should be perfect for a long-term presence on the reef.
Regardless of whether or not CBC is a good site for my particular research, this research station would allow for many future research projects. We have seen a high abundance of agaricid corals, including members of about six species. There are still unresolved taxonomic questions for this genus, making it an attractive research venture for future Voss lab students. So, to all those potential students out there reading this, we have found a site for you! The setup of the island and resources available (SCUBA, boats, not to mention the food) make this an ideal location for laid-back, but intense scientific research. There aren’t too many distractions here on the island besides the isolation and sheer beauty of the environment, so we can easily focus on our research goals.
We currently have a film crew from Al Jazeera doing a piece on "oceans in crisis." They are interested in asking us about the work we’re doing here. It’s an interesting, albeit completely new, experience for me (not for Josh), but I hope will be rewarding nonetheless. My main question is, if they’re filming you while there’s nothing to do, should you look stoically into the horizon, or pretend to do some important task? So far, I have not decided, but getting filmed fighting to get into my wet wetsuit is not the most attractive. :)
Hopefully tomorrow will bring some additional data with plenty of M. cavernosa colonies for my future experiment. In other news, we have seen a fair amount of macro marine life, including spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks (one of whom likes coffee grounds??), black tip reef sharks, and turtles. Once again, here’s hoping to see a whale shark!