Scuba Diving

Field Work in the Great Barrier Reef

Scuba diving was my main tool to do my Master’s fieldwork. Because I was interested in the effect of macroalgae on corals, my dive sites were generally not the most beautiful locations of the Great Barrier Reef. But working underwater was great fun. Find out more about my research in Australia here: Macroalgae impact on corals or read my article published in PLOS ONE: doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012685.

Canopy-forming macroalgae assemblage, dominated by Sargassum sp., Dunk Island, Great Barrier Reef.

Red Sea, Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand

Working as a certified PADI Divemaster in the Gulf of Thailand, the Andaman Sea and the Egyptian Red Sea I came across some beautiful marine creatures…

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Dugong – a friendly giant marine mammal.
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Sea turtle: This reptile has been living in our oceans for more than 100 million years. The sea turtle population is declining worldwide. Among common stress factors like overfishing and general exploitation, the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” causes a large problem for sea turtles as they often mistake plastic as there food, which blocks their digestive systems and eventually kills them.
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Resting Spanish dancer, which is the largest nudibranch and is at least 16 inches long.
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Fire coral, which is not a coral but more closely related to Hydrozoans.
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Clownfish and sea anemone who live in a symbiontic, mutualistic relationship. Clownfish develop into males first, and when they mature, they may become females. If the female clownfish is removed from the group, one of the largest and most dominant males will become a female.
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Fuzzy filter-feeding tunicate.
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Soft corals do not produce a calcium carbonate skeleton like hard corals but also utilize symbiontic photosynthesizing zooxanthella as a major energy source.
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Christmas Tree Worm on coral.
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Coral polyps
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Brittle star climbing on a coral.