Students study the Galapagos
Students grapple with estimating benthic cover on an UW cliff-face at Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), San Cristobal Galapagos.

In 2018 JCU ran the subject SC5810 – Marine Ecology and Upwelling for the first time at the Galapagos Islands.  Mike Kingsford along with sixteen students had to contend with sea lions taking their tapes while they were doing under water surveys!  The theme of the subject focused on how different the Galapagos is when compared to other equatorial locations.  The cold water and related rich algal life and fish abundance is a magnet for penguins, sea lions and iguanas, while seabirds such as blue-footed boobies, albatrosses, frigate birds and the like also fascinated the students.  Student had the added excitement of staying with Spanish speaking families while on the islands.  There was also fun to be had on land – ‘Darwin’s playground’ where he had that light bulb moment about evolution – students saw the famous finches and or course tortoises.

We will soon have another PhD student in the laboratory as Juan-Manuel Alava wil shortly commence his PhD on reef fish assemblages and trophic linkages at the islands


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