New collaboration started with James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science.
We are very excited to announce a new collaboration with a team of scientists from James Cook University (JCU) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Townsville, Queensland. The team consists of Jonathan Barton (a PhD student at James Cook University) and his advisors; Dr Kate Hutson, Dr David Bourne and Craig Humphrey.
Jonathan is a reef hobbyist turned marine biologist from Los Angeles, California, and he has recently joined the Marine Parasitology Laboratory at James Cook University, led by Kate Hutson (https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/kate.hutson/). For the next three years Jonathon will combine his coral husbandry expertise with scientific methodology to carry out experiments on the AEFW in the state-of-the-art SeaSim facility at AIMS (http://www.aims.gov.au/seasim).
The Australian-based team contacted us in May to ask if we could collaborate. Cat and I agreed, and we see this as an incredible opportunity to combine resources and expertise to understand more about the AEFW and how best to control it. From our experience over the past five years Cat and I are able to advise Jonathan on the biology of the AEFW and how best to culture them for experiments. We are currently working together to compare life cycle data between different populations of captive AEFW (Texas and Townsville) and also with those AEFW recently bought in from the wild. This will enable us to design a protocol for Acropora quarantine that is conservative enough to incorporate variation between different populations. We will also work together to expand our bio-control experiments to identify animals that eat the AEFW.
This collaboration adds enormous momentum to AEFW research and will undoubtedly lead to more data (and answers) being delivered at a faster rate to the hobbyist and aquarist communities! Your backing has enabled this opportunity and we look forward to bringing you up-dates over the coming year.
Kate and Cat