Re(ef)search: Research Centres in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef

Queensland's Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef system in the world, dotted with over 4,000 stunning coral reefs, cays and islands and home to colourful marine life.

Six of Queensland's island are home to research stations (at Lizard Island, Low Isles, Green Island, Orpheus Island, Heron Island and One Tree Island) that contribute to building a healthier, stronger and more resilient Great Barrier Reef for future generations. Eighty per cent of scientific research has been conducted around Lizard, Heron and Orpheus islands.

It is not only scientists and researchers who frequent the stations with guided tours providing in-house guests with the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at current research projects and the chance to learn more about the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.

Heron Island Research Station: Famed for its high levels of biodiversity and pristine coral reef, Heron Island Resort is also home to the Heron Island Research Station—the largest island research station in the southern hemisphere and internationally renowned for their coral research.

Focused on a wide range of marine ecology and biodiversity research subjects, the island has been a research hub since before WWII, when the first students arrived from the University of Queensland (UQ) and used the old turtle factory as their base.

Lizard Island Research Station: The Lizard Island Research Station is a facility of the Australian Museum and attracts coral reef researchers from all around the world – with approximately 100 research projects conducted annually. Since its opening in 1973 there has been more than 1,200 scientific publications produced by Australian and international researchers as a result of work undertaken at the facility.
Tours to the Research Station are conducted twice a week and available for all Lizard Island guests.

Orpheus Island Research Station: Located within Pioneer Bay, the Orpheus Island Research Station is a marine research facility operated by James Cook University. Researchers visit the station to study the well-developed fringing and mid-shelf reefs that are home to 1,100 known species of fish, 340 of the 350 known species of reef coral and around 3,000 giant clams.
An educational tour of the research station will allow guests to be introduced to the current research projects and get a hands-on feel for the local reef with the help of live reef touch tanks.



Word count: 400
Author: TEQ

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