Did You Know: Tropical Marine Ecology in Australia

by Carley Frea, ISA Site Specialist, and Dr. William Loh, Tropical Marine Ecology Australian co-leader

Stretching some 1,800 miles, just off the shores of northeast Australia, one will find one of the seven wonders of the world and something larger than the Great Wall of China; The Great Barrier Reef. Here, the home of brilliant marine life and vast biodiversity, is where students have the opportunity to not only learn, but also to experience through ISA’s Tropical Marine Ecology program taking place in June.


Did You Know?

The Australian humpback dolphin, a new species discovered within the last six years, does not actually have a hump? This species was thought to be part of a pan-population of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinesis) found off eastern Africa, the Middle East, India, SE Asia and China until researchers noted that there were subtle differences in the bodies of Australian Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, including being humpback-less. Students participating in the Tropical Marine Ecology program will have the chance to interact with these dolphins during their stay at North Stradbroke Island.


 

scuba divers

This unique, traveling program takes students to three, world-class educational research stations where they will learn and experience Australian flora and fauna, marine biodiversity, conservation, environmental issues and marine park management through formal lectures, excursions and hands-on experiences. Excursions, which may range from whale watching to reef walks to coral reef snorkels and more, will both familiarize students with living organisms in a variety of environments and provide a base for designing and conducting field research projects, one of the program’s main course components. This course is ideal for students studying ecology, marine biology, biology and environmental biology. Students will learn from top marine biology faculty from Australia and the U.S. and will earn 4 U.S. credits upon successful completion of the course.


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Did you know?

The green turtle (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) and hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) can live together on the same coral reef without competing for food resources? Adult green turtles are mostly herbivorous; loggerheads are carnivorous-their heavy set skull and jaws are useful for crushing the shells of molluscs and crustaceans; and hawksbills eat a lot of sponges. Tropical Marine Ecology students will be in the mix with these turtles during their course experiences on the Reef.


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