Thursday, June 13, 2013

Southern Expedition in the news

A slideshow of some happenings at the Southern Expedition is featured in Today Online.
Photo from Don Wong Today Online 13 Jun 13
Much earlier, just after Minister Tan Chuan Jin's visit, there were also many media features about the Southern Expedition. Here's some highlights.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Video clip of "Copepods -- an introduction to the 'Insects of the Sea'" by Prof Rony Huys

Thanks to Andy Dinesh, here's a video clip of the awesome talk by Prof Rony Huys on one of the most numerous animals on the planet.
From his talk, we learnt that copepods are indeed sexy, delightful and endlessly fascinating animals.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Southern Expedition dive photos and stories by Debby Ng

Thanks to Debby Ng of the Hantu Bloggers for awesome dive photos and dive stories at the Southern Expedition!
Photo by Debby Ng.
In her post Surveying the Deep Debby shares: "Apart from getting to dive in areas that leisure divers do not frequent, it was a real eyeopener to be diving with a diverse group of scientists from around the world who have such varied interests and expertise!"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The last day of the Southern Expedition

Today we wind down the Expedition spending the entire day washing and washing, packing and packing.
Here's a last look at the people and happenings at Base Camp before the Expedition shuts down.

Last field trips on Day 17 of the Southern Expedition

This is the last day for field trips. A bitter-sweet time when we savour every moment at the Expedition.
Heng Pei Yan and I decide to hunt for shrimps at the lagoon next to the public jetty. It was a hot day, with the main city skyline and the greenery of Seringat-Kias on the horizon. There were also diving, dredging and mini-talks.

Molluscs, ascidians, stars and cucumbers: Mini-talks at the Southern Expedition

We finally get an understanding of some of our common ascidians. As well as some of our echinoderms, and learn about molluscs and marine life in Thailand. In the last of the mini-talks at the Southern Expedition.
As Debby Ng of the Hantu Bloggers says so well: "I've learned so much from #megamarine survey! Learned/saw new things & learned more about things I already knew some about! Enriched!"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

'Sulphur-eating' clams, shrimps and sea cucumbers: Mini-talks at the Southern Expedition

The highlight of the day are the mini-talks by experts at the Expedition. From 'sulphur-eating' clams, to wondrous shrimps and amazing sea cucumbers.
The series kicks off with a talk on "Chemosymbiotic bivalves" by Drs John Taylor and Emily Glover, The Natural History Museum, London UK.

Curious Critters from the Deep on Day 16 of the Southern Expedition

This cutie came up from the Deep Dredge today! It's not a sea anemone. It may be an ascidian. We are still not sure!
Today, the Dredge hit nearly 200m! We also had day and night dives, and the usual frenzied hunting on St. John's and nearby islands.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Phytoplankton, cnidarians and crinoids: Mini-talks at the Southern Expedition

One of the highlights of the Expedition is to hear from the experts during the all too-short talks at the end of the day.
For her talk on "Incredible Cnidarians", being the world authority on sea anemones, Prof Daphne Fautin, University of Kansas, USA of course started with these wonderful colourful animals. In his talk, Prof Charles Messing gave a quick and simple guide to some feather stars commonly seen in Singapore.

Deep Dredge on Day 15 of the Southern Expedition

As Prof Peter and Meryl Theng head off for the dredge, I lament that so far, we have not had good photos or stories from the dredge. So I'm very grateful to Meryl who tweeted live from the dredge!
There were also day and night dives, a quick grab of humungous black sea urchins, and Kate and I checked out a lagoon at high tide. The Expedition was also being filmed.

6 Jun (Thu): The Wallace Lectures "Copepods -- an introduction to the 'Insects of the Sea'" by Prof Rony Huys

What are copepods? And why do they matter?
Come for this special talk by Prof Rony Huys to find out more. Prof Rony is here for the Southern Expedition of the Mega Marine Survey.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Video clip of "Lace Corals and Moss Animals" a talk by Dr Kevin J. Tilbrook

Thanks to Andy Dinesh, here's a video clip of the awesome talk by Dr Kevin Tilbrook.
Dr Kevin gives a lively and easy-to-understand introduction to bryozoans and also to taxonomy in general.

Fabulous Feather stars of Singapore

Feather stars are among the most abundant and flamboyantly colored creatures on Singapore's reefs and deeper rocky sea floor. Over 30 species have been recorded from Singapore’s waters!
A small selection of the many feather stars found
during a Deep Dredge on Day 3
Prof Charles G Messing of the Oceanographic Center, Nova Southeastern University shares this and more about some special feather stars in Singapore.

Horrid things on Day 13 of the Southern Expedition

Hurray! The long missing Horrible elbow crab (Daldorfia horrida) has been found by Dr Lin Chiawei during the night dive today.
It is HUGE and indeed rather horrible. It is listed as 'Presumed Nationally Extinct' on the Singapore Red List, which probably means that it hasn't been seen here in 50 years. So it's great to know that it still exists in our waters!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Awesome Amphipods

Amphipods are tiny critters that often hide among debris on the high tide line on the sea shore. These small crustaceans are super abundant in world oceans and very diverse (more than 10,000 described species).
Dr Jim Lowry from the Australian Museum studies them. His project during the Southern Expedition is the first major survey of the group in Singapore waters.

Pea crab on Day 12 of the Southern Expedition

Today is our last intertidal trip for the Southern Expedition. Two teams surveyed Pulau Tekukor which is rarely visited and is not accessible to the public.
There were also dive surveys as well as a dredge. We found a lot of interesting critters as usual.

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