Saturday, November 28, 2009

Heron Island day 18

Last full day on Heron!

Two dives, one at a "mystery bommie" not on the charts; very nice.

Specimens: 268
Species: 18, 43 including morphs
Beers remaining: 3
Sharks seen while diving: 8 to 10
Deepest dive: 29.3
Shallowest dive: 2.2, plus intertidal walks
Best lunch: Tuna steak with wasabi mayo
Best dinner: Tough to call, but chicken and pasta?
Best dessert: Sticky date

Until next time...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Heron Island day 17

Second to last day of diving, visited Masthead Reef. Some samples, and a school of sweetlips hanging out under a bommie made the dives enjoyable.

Sunset drinks at the resort, and a great dinner (as usual with the chef's great talent!).

Samples: 258
Beers left: 5 + some more with Kareen

Off to do laundry. Last post (?) from Heron tomorrow.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Heron Island days 15 and 16

Day 16: Windy and our first real rain here today. The island now smells like guano.

Spearfishing in the morning for fish parasites, followed by a single dive at North Wistari in the afternoon. No new species; two samples.

Dinner: Pork in bacon with rice and apples
Beers: 2
Papers accepted during this trip: 2
Coffees: 3
Chai: 2
Samples total: 247
Species: 17?
Sharks seen today: 1 gray

Two dives tomorrow, weather permitting. In the last four days, Aaron, Rae, Monika and Lynda have left. Gary leaves tomorrow!

Day 15: Great dive, one more zoanthid species! And a looooong nap (5 hours). Must have been tired.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Heron Island day 14

Very exciting dive today.

First dive was the channel, deep and interesting, but pretty mellow. No current, and only few samples. However, during the second and more shallow dive, a school of baitfish swam over me. Then, six gray sharks swam by me, and one hung around. They were eating the baitfish, and were very "alert", twitching as I breathed. Cool, but pretty scary, they were probably 20 feet from me. Needless to say, stuck with my buddy after that.

Samples: 238
Species: 16?
Beers consumed: 35
Longest nap: 5 hours 10 minutes (today!).

See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Heron Island day 13

Great dives today at Sykes, tomorrow looks like the weather is getting worse... First dive was a deep wall, followed by a shallow bommie dive. Lots of nice samples, especially on the shallow dive. Sunset swim and beer, great dinner (roast beef) and dessert.

Samples: 223
Species: 16 or 17 - one new Zoanthus today (vietnamensis sensu Uchida)
Beers consumed: 31

Tomorrow is a 7 am start, so up at 6! Zzzz...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Heron Island day 12

Day 12; back on diving. Two dives, one shallow and one deep. Great samples from the deep dive, including the new species and some nice octocorals.

Samples: 204
Species: 15 or 16 (one mysterious sample today)

Dinner: Kangaroo!

Tomorrow is Sykes Reef again, our favourite spot thus far!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heron Island day 11

Finally a day of rest - no diving! Caught up on laundry and other important things.... And had a nice snorkel on the reef in the afternoon.

Samples: 192
Species: 15

Dinner was a nice (sirloin?) steak, followed by dessert. Tomorrow is diving again, need to do more intertidal work as well.

Heron Island day 10

A bit late on the post today; we had a beach BBQ and small party last night. Today is a day in the lab, with an afternoon snorkel.

Yesterday; two dives on North Heron Reef at First Point. The current really picked up at the end of the first dive, thankfully the "Jesus Line" was out...


Samples: 172, still at 15 species.
Dive total: 19, 10 days in a row
Dinner: Steak and salad, beer, whisky

More later today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Lab meeting on Nov 18th, 2009

1. Tanks this week: MM
2. Please move your all stuff from the old freezer to the new one.
3. Please help disposal of formalin.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Heron Island day 9

9th day of diving - back to Lamont Reef today. Found one more species, now have a total of 14 to 15 species!

Total samples: 164
Dives: 17
Laundry done: Once
Days since proper shoes have been worn: 6
Sleepiness: maximum

Tomorrow are 2 shallow dives, and then a beach party! Saturday is finally a day of rest.

Dinner: Chicken and beans, and the best dessert! Kudos to the chef.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heron Island day 8; blog

Check out the CReefs blog:

Another day of diving.
Totals: 151 samples. 13-14 species.
Today: 5 new specimens of the "mystery" zoanthid!

Lots of great food.

Done for the day, beer and sunset, followed by lots of paperwork.

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Heron Island day 7

Still diving...

Update: 138 specimens, 1 new species today.

Supposedly a turtle tried to mate with me yesterday, but I didn't even notice it right behind me as I sampled.

More dives tomorrow, but should be easy, second trip to Sykes.

off to bed soon!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Heron Island day 6

Lots of samples todays from two dives and an intertidal reef walk. Combined with 5 hours of sleep; one sleepy zoanthid researcher. Still have all the samples to process...

Update: 124 samples
Total species 11-12 (2 new today; Zoanthus vietnamensis, and "true" Palythoa mutuki.

Hope to make the sunset beer...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Heron Island day 5

Weather is still great. 8 of us went to Broomfield Reef for two dives. Not so many zoanthids, but still some nice samples. Spawn slicks on the way and back from the reef, stretching for kilometers. Mass spawning is massive on the GBR! The slick has a distinct smell as well.

Facts: zoanthid species: still at 9-10 (including 2 new)
total samples: 93

Watched a loggerhead sea turtle give birth today after dinner.

Dinner: Roast lamb.

Will try some intertidal tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Heron Island day 4

Great day today! 30 samples. Dove the wall at Sykes Reef, lots of diversity, and rich reef. No wind, waves small - all in all great. Also, very cool morphotypes of Zoanthus, fluorescent orange with fluorescent yellow tentacles.

Facts: zoanthid species: 9-10 (including 2 new)

Tomorrow - up at 6 am; these CReefs trips are intense and fun.

Did I mention dinner? Steak and lobster.



Friday, November 13, 2009

Heron Island day 3

Zoanthid facts from Creefs Heron Island 2009
Species: still 7
Samples: 46

Tomorrow we head to a vertical wall, hoping for some Brachycnemina. Flat weather, no waves for the next four days, so this our big chance to go far afield. Sharks and turtles commonly visible on the flat water surfaces. No sign of my lost camera though.

Pictures will hopefully get uploaded when the net is working well. JDR over and out.

Heron Island day 2

Hard to upload pictures here; the internet link is satellite-based.

Updates from day 2:
1. Two dives for me today, both at North Heron Reef, backreef area. First dive was on a sandy channel bottom, lots of nice animals I had never seen, and lots of one species of zoanthid.
2. Second dive in coral and sand, shallower. Much more diverse, and a huge loggerhead checked us out on the way in.
On the way in we saw a school of baitfish getting eaten by birds and a shark - which was bigger than anything I had seen thus far in Okinawa!

Zoanthid species total: 7 (Palythoa caesia, P. heliodiscus, P. sp. 2 sensu Burnett 1997, P. cf. mutuki, Zoanthus aff. coppingeri sensu Burnett 1997, Z. sp. 1, unknown zoanthid sensu Fujii 2009
Samples: 30

Sunset and beer is a nice daily tradition observed both days thus far.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lab meeting on Nov. 11th, 2009

1. Tanks this week: TN
2. Please check the diving rules on message board.
3. MO made a manual on a seminar poster. Please refer to it, especially the third year students.
4. If you don't have a pair of slipper for Room 354, feel free to use MISE common slippers.
5. PC for the third year students has no softwares like Word, Excel, Power point... Can we order?
6. We got a new freezer for DNA yesterday.

Today's photo; Acrozoanthus in Green island, Taiwan

Heron Island #1

Hi all,

Quick update from Heron Island. We arrived yesterday, 100km off shore from Gladstone. The new marine station here is very nice, and CReefs looks after the researchers very very well.

Some quick bits of info:
1. Heron Island is covered with birds. One species, the shearwater, comes back only at night, and the babies cry all night. Makes sleep tough, and when you do sleep, the dreams are odd!
2. Reefs here are proper no-take zones, and full of life. Zoanthids too (see picture).
3. I am not going to lose weight here, steak for dinner last night, duck for lunch!
4. Marine biologists are great simply because they like beer.

I will try to post every day.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Taiwan Trip!

We (MO, YI, and I) are in Ryudao in Taiwan. We dove the last three days, and got a lot of samples which includes some interesting un identified samples.

Sea of the Ryudao is very nice. Visibility is good, and diversity of corals (scleractinian corals, soft bodied corals, ...)looks high (My knowledge is too lacking to evaluate).

The happiest thing is the schedule of a day between this sampling trip.

Getting up → Eating breakfast → Diving (2dive) → Taking warm shower → Eating lunch → Fixing the samples → Talking or Having rest → Eating dinner → Talking or Having rest → Go to bed!!

I was happy....

Today, we went to the hot spring. It maked us refreshed.

We will leave Ryudao tommorow. Thank you very much for the people who related this trip!!

I took the first picture at the place where used as prison. Probably, the buildings will be the marine sciense station!!
Otherpicture was taken by Dr. Hirose at the hotspring.

Things to remember while JDR is in Aus!

All lab members: Get Skype, then we can talk for free while I am in Australia! Ask MO, CA, or YI for my Skype address.

Things to remember while I am in Australia:

1. JCRS presenters (MO, YM, TF, YI): If you have a poster, do not forget to a. check it with me, and b. make a reservation to print it. You can print it using my "公費(教育)” that the Biology Office manages.
2. All lab members: Please help with formalin clean-up. Today's participants know how, so ask them. As well, we may be able to pay some money for helping!
3. YI: you are the chair for the next seminar on December 2nd. Don't forget the posters and PDFs!
4. Jobs in December - we will do paperwork in November by email while I am in Australia. Please remind me if you get the chance, I may forget!
5. M.Hirose will start work from November in the lab; please help her if she has any questions.
6. Work for lab members while i am gone:
a. MO - lab management, etc. Also, the freezer if it arrives.
b. YM - sclerites, DNA (COI, ITS, MutS) complete data sets (pink, purple, green morphs). Begin thesis!
c. TF and YI: continue as is. TF and YM need to help with my class (Nov. 18, 25).
d. CA - continue as is.
e. MH - check DNA data; begin thesis!
f. YH - data collection, begin thesis!
g. YS - DNA analyses, begin thesis!
h. HS - sampling! If you want, begin DNA (ask someone to help you).
i. MK - DNA extraction, examining Symbiodinium DNA.
j. OT - continue snail and host sampling.
k. TN - learn sampling and field ID.
l. MM - DNA results? Also, begin cnidome analyses if you want (ask TF or YI to help).

Good luck!

Swimming off to the distance at Manza.

Lab meeting Nov. 4th

Lots of things today!

Present: YM, OT, TN, YH, MM, JDR
Absent: MO, TF, YI (Taiwan), CA (OIST), YS (fight!), MH (practical course), HS (class), MK (...)

1. JDR's specialty class will be taught by Kurihara-sensei on the 18th, Kimura-sensei on the 25th. YM and TF will arrange to help show them the room and help set up and take down. Yoroshiku!
2. Tanks this week: OT
3. Part-time jobs: a. Paperwork for MO, YM, YI, TF on their desks. Due Nov. 10th @ Biology Office.
b. December jobs: will do paperwork from Aus (JDR there Nov. 8th- Dec. 1st).
4. Health Check: Submit paperwork by today; free health check for those of us who dive lots.
5. Seminar: Don't forget the next one is Dec. 2nd - YI (chair), MM and MK (presenters).
6. Formalin help: today after seminar, in front of Fukugoto! Bring gloves.
7. While JDR is in Aus: a. continue experiments as much as possible
b. A new freezer (may??) come; MO will be in charge if it arrives while JDR is gone.
8. 3rd years PC: coming soon (Windows machine)
9. Camera: We have a new Canon G11 and housing - feel free to use, but please make sure you put it in freshwater soon after, and wash the weights carefully!
10. Research discussions before JDR goes: YM and TN: today, OT and YH: Friday, MK: tomorrow, HS and MM: will let me know after.


Today's pic: Tree frog helps with sampling, Costa Rica.


No idea how this works, but we are averaging almost 20000 hits/day.

Maybe there are a lot of zoanthid maniacs out there...

However, I think the hit counter I have installed is somehow wrong. Anyone know anything?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lab meeting on Oct. 28th, 2009

1. Tanks this week: HS
2. Homepage- Please make!
3. MH will be postdoc of MISE from November.
4. Seminar I- Please choose & pick papers soon!
5. MO, TF, YI is going to Taiwan from Oct. 31st.
6. JR is going to Australia from Nov. 10th.