The 2018 ACRS Conference was held at the Ningaloo Centre, Exmouth WA, on the 15th-17th May 2018. This fabulous new venue hosted us for a welcome function on 15th May, followed by two days of oral and poster presentations on the 16th and 17th May. Student prizes were awarded during the Conference dinner 17th May.
Keynote Speakers Included:
We had five exceptional keynote speakers for the ACRS 2018 conference including:
Brett Lewis (QUT) – Vicki Harriott Award $500 – Multi-stage process during substrate attachment of Acropora fragments
Shannon McMahon (CoE JCU) – Diversity Journal Award $300 – The effects of elevated CO2 and food availability on the behaviour of a coral reef fish
Anna Cresswell (UWA) – Diversity Journal Award $250 – Investigating the effect of recreational fishing using 30 years of data from Ningaloo Marine Park, a meta-analysis.
Mikaela Nordborg (AIMS-JCU)– Scubapro Award, Dive watch – The weakest link – Cumulative effects of heavy fuel oil and UV radiation across multiple life stages of coral
Alexia Graba-Landry (CoE JCU) – Lizard Island Research Station Award – Is warm food more nutritious? The effect of increasing temperature on species-specific growth and palatability of tropical macroalgae.
Coulson Lantz (SCU) – Heron Island Research Station Award – Coral reef carbonate sediment metabolism in a high CO2 world and the role of sediment topography.
Taryn Laubenstein (CoE JCU) – Orpheus Island Research Station Award – The effects of diel CO2 cycles and elevated temperature on reef fish physiology.
Kelsey Sanborn (USyd) – One Tree Island Research Station Award – The Holocene “Turn on” of the Great Barrier Reef: Reef Growth Under Environmental Stress?
E. Maria U. Jung (CoE UWA/ University of Bremen) – Kimberly Marine Research Station Award – Recovery capacity and physiology of Kimberley corals after unprecedented bleaching.
Sophie Pryor (SCU) – Kimberly Marine Cignet Bay Prize Pack – Anemonefish accelerate bleaching recovery of host sea anemones
Ramona Brunner (JCU) – BHP/CSIRO Ningaloo Outlook Award $150 – Which receptors are responsible for coral settlement?
Carrie Sims (UQ) – Diversity Journal Award $100- Density and diversity effects on coral larvae settlement and short-term survival.
ACRS 2018 Student Prize winners
Overall winner: C. Caballes
Photo Competition Winners:
Overall winner: Ciemon Frank Caballes
Macro: Laura Puk
Diversity: Christopher Brunner
Science in Action: Melanie Trapon
People’s choice: Maarten De Brauwer
Hashtagcompetition Winner (#ACRS2018): Peter Cowman
Poster engagement price: Kelly Hannen
The 90th ACRS conference was held in Townsville, Queensland from 16th–19th July, 2017. Several fabulous venues hosted us for workshops and a welcome function on 16th, two full days of discussions and paper presentations on 17th and 18th, and workshops and other activities on 19th.
The 2016 ACRS Medal for Established Researcher was awarded to Prof. Terry Hughes for his outstanding contributions to science and conservation of Australian coral reefs. The 2017 ACRS medal for Science Advocacy was awarded to Dr. Russell Kelley for his exceptional role communicating coral reef science and research.
Many prizes were distributed among the delegates attending the ACRS conference:
Student Prize Winners:
Michael McWilliam – Vicki Harriott Award – $500 cash “Regional differences in the diversity and redundancy of coral functional roles”
Maarten De Brauwer – Scuba Pro sponsored Outstanding Presentation Award– “Biofluorescence as a survey tool for cryptic marine species”
Christopher Hemingson – Remote Area Dive sponsored Outstanding Presentation Award– “Biogeographic patterns in major marine realms: function not taxonomy unites fish assemblages in reef, seagrass and mangrove systems”
Sofia Jain-Schlaepfer – Lizard Island Research Station Award – “Managing noise stress in fish embryos: Fish embryos show stress responses to recreational boat noise that differ with engine type”
Mikaela Nordborg – Orpheus Island Research Station Award – “The phototoxic effects of hydrocarbon fuels on coral larval settlement”
Kerry Cameron – One Tree Island Research Station Award – Outstanding Presentation for Field Based Research – “Restoring corals on degraded reefs with enhanced supply of larvae”
Wing Yan Chan – Heron Island Research Station Award – “Generating novel genetic diversity through hybridization as a tool to increase coral climate resilience”
Tessa Hill – Reef & Rainforest Research Centre prize – “Predation pressure of butterflyfish on coral communities may decrease under ocean acidification” (poster)
Photo competition Winners:
Overall winner: Victor Huertas Science in Action: Mikaela Nordborg Macro: Ciemon Caballes Diversity: C. Brunner People’s choice: Maarten De Brauwer
Hashtag (#2017ACRS) competition Winner: Laura Richardson (@Richardson_LE)
Daydream Island 2015
The 89th ACRS conference was held on Daydream Island, Queensland from 28th–31st July, 2015. This fabulous venue hosted us for workshops and a welcome function on 28th, two full days of discussions and paper presentations on 29th and 30th and workshops and other activities on 31st.
The ACRS Medal was awarded to Dr. Nicholas Graham, for outstanding contributions to science and conservation of Australian coral reefs.
Student Talk Prize Winners:
Taryn Foster – Vicki Harriott Award – $500 cash + Oceanic dive computer (donated by Australian Underwater Products). “Ocean acidification causes microstructural deformities in juvenile coral skeletons”
April Boaden – Research station choice 1 + ScubaPro prize pack. “Top-down control, trophic interactions and the importance of predatory fishes on coral reef”
Maria del Mar Palacios – Research station choice 2 + ScubaPro prize pack. “Top-predators negate the effect of mesopredators on prey physiology”
Tessa Hempson – Research station choice 3 + ScubaPro prize pack. “Effects of prey availability on mesopredator condition, growth rate, and fecundity on coral reefs of the Seychelles Inner Island Group”
Rene van de Zande – Research station choice 4 + ScubaPro prize pack. “Influence of future climate scenarios on coral energy budgets and metabolics”
Theresa Rueger – Cruise Whitsundays GBR trip. “Size matters to males and females: mutual mate choice leads to size assortative pairing in a paternal mouthbrooding coral reef cardinalfish”
Kerry Cameron – Aeris Cyanea dive mask + McNett dive care essentials pack (donated by Australian Underwater Products). “Coral recruitment at Lord Howe Island – closed or open populations?”
Lisa Böstrom-Einarsson – Cruise Whitsundays Reef sleep trip. “Controlling outbreaks of the coral-eating Crown-of-Thorns starfish using a single injection of common household vinegar” (poster)
ACRS 2015 Student Prize winners
Non-Student Talk Winners:
Mark Erdmann – Cruise Whitsundays Camira sailing trip. “Impact Factor vs. Real World Impact: Musings of a Reef Scientist that drank the Conservation NGO Kool-Aid”
Renata Ferrari – Cruise Whitsundays GBR trip. “Disentangling the relationship between communitycomposition and habitat structural complexity: what is the best metric?”
Zena Dinesen – Cairns Dive Centre snorkel trip. “Combining
Overall winner: K. Wolfe
new and old approaches to reef coral taxonomy: A case study of the coral genus Leptoseris”
Photo Competition winners:
Overall winner – Kennedy Wolfe – iDive iPad housing + $100 cash
Science-in-action – Peter Vize – $50 cash
Best turtle photo – Kristen Anderson – $50 cash
Diversity – Ciemon Caballes – $50 cash
Macro – Maria del Mar Palacios – $50 cash
The 88th Annual ACRS Conference was held from 27 to 29 August in Brisbane at the Mercure Hotel. On Wednesday 27th August, students were invited to take part in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Student Day, which focussed on developing students’ research and publication skills. This was followed by the Welcome Function for all delegates on the Wednesday evening. The following 2 days were an opportunity for delegates to present their own research and also hear from 3 keynote speakers:
Prof Michael Kingsford, “Connectivity among populations – the never ending story?”
Dr Adriana Vergés, “Climate-driven shifts in herbivory and the tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems – a global perspective”
Dr Janice Lough, “Changing environments for coral reefs”
The Conference Dinner was held at the beautiful level 12 Rooftop Room at Rydges Hotel at Southbank where students received awards for the most outstanding presentations.
Student Prize Winners:
Vicki Harriott Award: Lisa Bostrom-Einarsson
Research Station Bench Fee Awards: Susannah Leahy, Tyson Martin, Patrick Burger, Chiara Pisapia
Great Barrier Reef Book Award: Lauren Nadler
Poster award: Brock Bergseth
Photo Competition winners:
Feathers, Flippers and Fins : Chico Birrell
Your Story : Christine Schoenberg
Closer : Maria Palacios
Best-overall : Winner: Maria Palacios
Following the conference, some delegates took part in a field trip to North Stradbroke Island, staying at the Moreton Bay Research Station.
The 87th Annual ACRS Conference was held from 28th to 30th August in Sydney at the Menzies Hotel and was the first to be run in conjunction with the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS). Over the three day conference, delegates participated in a number of social activities, including the welcome function at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and the conference dinner at the Star Room. Delegates also had the opportunity to showcase their own research across a series of thematic sessions. In total, there were 112 oral presentations spread over two days in three concurrent sessions, and 20 posters presentations.
Prof David Booth – ACRS Vice President and Director of the Centre for Environmental Sustainability, UTS
Prof Peter Ralph – Executive Director of The Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster, UTS
Dr Andrew Baird – ARC Future Fellow, JCU
Dr David Wachenfeld – Director, Ecosystem Conservation and Sustainable Use, GBRMPA
Student Talk Prize Winners:
Christopher Goatley (Vicki Harriott Award): Sediments suppress the functional roles of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs Simon Brandl: A novel analysis of functional niche overlap applied to a herbivorous coral reef fish community Brett Taylor: Effects of fishing and environment on protogynous sex change dynamics at multiple scales Dominique G Roche: Plastic lateralization in parasitised coral reef fish Matthew Nitschke: Physiological responses to thermal stress of free-living Symbiodinium cultured in reef sediment
Honourable mention Toni Mizerek: Predicting changes to Australia’s scleractinian coral ranges using traits Bridie Allan: Parental effects improve escape performance of juvenile reef fish in a high CO2 world
Shaun Wilkinson: Hybridization in coral symbionts
Posters Paloma Matis: Dynamics of fish-coral associations across latitudes from the Southern Great Barrier Reef to Sydney Sandra Binning: Finding the best estimates of metabolic rates in a coral reef fish
Non-student awards Alexandra Campbell: Tropicalisation of temperate marine ecosystems: Herbivore-mediated phase-shifts from kelp to coral? Joshua Madin: Mechanical vulnerability explains size-dependent mortality of reef coral growth forms Kenneth Anthony: Cumulative impacts, risks and informed decision-making on the Great Barrier Reef
A Public Forum on Port Developments on the Great Barrier Reef was held from on the evening of Thursday 29th August in the Sydney Room at The Menzies Hotel. The panel discussed the ramifications of the proposed developments for the region from a number of perspectives.
The panel included:
Dr Jamie Oliver – Australian Institute for Marine Science
Jon Brodie – James Cook University
Dr Michael Gardner – Queensland Seafood Industry Association
Larissa Waters – Queensland Senator and Greens spokesperson for the GBR
Tom Coughlin – Fitzroy Basin Association
Felicity Wishart – Fight for the Reef Campaign
Sunshine Coast 2011
The 86th Annual ACRS Conference, held 26-29 August on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, at the Novotel Twin Waters Resort, was a smashing success.
Student Presentation Prizes
Vicky Harriott prize: Rebecca Lawton
Fantasea Foundation field excursions: Melanie Trapon
Quicksilver Cruises Outer Barrier Reef trip: Yui Sato
Heron Island RS: Andrew Chin
Lizard Island RS: Tom Hawkins
Orpheus Island RS: Stefanie Pontasch
One Tree Island RS: Joanne Bayes
CSIRO GBR Book: Nicola Browne
Coral Finder kit: Alyssa Marshell
Qld Museum – Moreton Bay Wild: Andrew Olds
Fantasea book donation: Tom Bridge
Fantasea book donation: Ai Nguyen (poster)
Coffs Harbour 2010
The 85th Annual ACRS conference was held at Coffs Harbour hosted by Southern Cross University’s National Marine Science Centre.
Speakers at the conference included:
• Professor Peter Mumby, The University of Queensland
• Dr Mark Meekan, Australian Institute of Marine Science, WA
• Dr Alan Jordan, NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water
• Dr Maoz Fine, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
• Professor Maria Byrne, University of Sydney
• Dr David Wachenfeld, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Student Presentation Prizes
Sebastian Schmidt-Roach: Vicki Harriott Prize (cheque for $500) – Challenging morphological plasticity in a keystone coral species
Rebecca Lawton: High population connectivity across large geographic scales in two widespread coral reef butterflyfishes
Great Barrier Reef research station awards:
Jessica Stella of JCU (Lizard Island RS)
Andrew Olds of Griffith University, Gold Coast (Orpheus Island RS)