Sequencing at Sea

Malden North Site Sequencing At Sea By Yan Wei Sequencing at sea is not a trivial task. It is even more challenging for a molecular biologist who studies human diseases and is used to clean, state of the art molecular grade laboratory equipment. However, we did it! The marine molecular lab spaces span from behind the bar at the back … Read More

A Reef of Clones

A Reef of Clones By Mark Vermeij  Coming to a pristine reef raises expectations. One of these expectations concerns the ways in which coral cover increases on reefs such as those of the Line Islands. Increasing coral cover is nowadays a rather rare phenomenon on most reefs, but on the reefs of Malden, corals cover most of the bottom in shallow … Read More

Where Did The Trees Go?

Where Did The Trees Go? By Stuart Sandin We have arrived to Starbuck island, the first of our stops in the more nutrient-rich waters of the southern Line Islands. Lying at about 6 degrees south latitude, we are now within about 350 nautical miles from the equator. A tongue of cooler water pokes into the Line Island archipelago from about … Read More

Widening Our View Of The Reef

Widening Our View of the Reef By Gareth J. Williams We are hundreds of miles away from civilization in the middle of the south Pacific Ocean when a tiny thin speck of land comes into view. It is Starbuck Island in the Southern Line Islands. The bright white sand reflects the morning sun and a few lone palm trees huddle … Read More

Vostok Benthic Tents

                                                                  Vostok Benthic Tents Maggie Johnson The second stop on our research cruise traversing the southern Line Islands brought us to Vostok Island. The morning after we departed … Read More

Corals and Algae – The Faceoff

Corals and Algae – The Faceoff by Emily Kelly What an incredible experience we’ve all had on this research cruise so far.  Reflecting on Flint as we depart, I am struck by the incredible health and beauty of the reef there – with the overwhelming coral cover with very little algae present. On coral reefs, one of the most precious commodities … Read More

Where Are All The Herbivores?

Where Are All of the Herbivores? By Emily Kelly In the community of coral reef managers and conservation practitioners, there is general consensus that herbivores are a critical component of the reef community. The herbivorous fishes that eat seaweed help to control the growth of these fleshy algae that compete with corals for space on the bottom. When too many … Read More

A World of Coral

A World of Coral By Stuart Sandin We have arrived at Flint Island in the Republic of Kiribati. Flint is a small and elongated island, approximately 4km north-to-south and about 500m across at its widest. The island is uninhabited, though in the past groups of people lived here to mine guano (seabird droppings used as fertilizer) and to grow copra … Read More

Let the Journey Begin

The Expedition Begins By Stuart Sandin Our destination is the Line Island archipelago of the Republic of Kiribati, but today we are in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. The research team has assembled here in Tahiti to meet our vessel, the Expedition Yacht Hanse Explorer. In a few hours we will be escorted out of the port and into the open Pacific … Read More

2013 Expedition: Journey to the Southern Line Islands

Coral reef ecosystems are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the planet yet they are suffering significant declines due to human impacts. Because many people depend on reefs and reef fisheries for their livelihoods it is highly important to gain a better understanding of how reef fisheries work. In previous research we were able to document how coral reef ecosystem productivity varied across the … Read More