LIPS Welcomes Reef Expert for A Free Community Talk About Low Isles

LIPS is delighted to host Dr Sarah Hamylton from the University of Wollongong on a visit to Port Douglas and Low Isles. On Sunday, Dr Sarah will present a talk and Q & A sharing how her team are building on historic research to understand changes at Low Isles and its reef.

Sarah is stopping by in Port Douglas on Sunday, June 11 to chat to the community about how early scientific work, dating back to the 1928 Great Barrier Reef Expedition, helps inform current research.
Everybody is welcome to come along to the Port Douglas Community Centre, for a presentation and a Q+A to learn about the history of research at Low Isles.

✔️ Free entry
✔️ Pre-registration required
✔️ Sunday 11 June 6-7pm
✔️ 45 min presentation
✔️ 15 minute Q + A
✔️ All ages and interests

Talk Summary

The 1928-29 Great Barrier Reef Expedition marks an important milestone in the evolution of modern coral reef science, from its nineteenth century theoretical and deductive foundation – to the twentieth century focus on empirical and analytical studies. We begin by considering the expedition, its involvement of women and local Indigenous community members, its immediate scientific achievements and its longer-term legacy. This truly interdisciplinary expedition was housed at Low Isles for 13 months. Investigations involved meticulous microscopic work and painstaking laboratory and field observation, measurement and experimentation, cataloguing linkages between reef habitats, tidal processes and physical and chemical properties of water, as well as the first ever detailed quantitative inventory of life on the reef. We outline the Expedition’s major achievements, many of which continue to be relevant in modern reef science, not least in providing an exceptional set of ecological and geomorphological benchmarks against which a century of ecological and morphological change has been assessed. We conclude by outlining our work monitoring changes to the sand cay, shingle ramparts and mangrove forest on the reef flat at Low Isles by bringing together old maps, aerial drones and coring sediments.


Dr Sarah Hamylton (Associate Professor) and Brooke Conroy (PhD candidate)

School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences

University of Wollongong (UOW) NSW 2522


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