Blog for 2009-06-25

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Another wonderful day at Gaya Island! As usual, we started the early day with a lecture given by Dr. Cam Webb on the 'Origin and the Maintenance of Biodiversity in Coral Reefs and Rain forests'. The lecture was quite informative, whereby he emphasized on the significant role of both habitats, in terms of flora and fauna biodiversity and the various interactions between the ecosystem components. Additionally, he also revised our knowledge on the theory of speciation; allopatric and sympatric speciation.

After the lecture, it was the moment whereby we had to propose our marine two-day mini project in front of everyone.There were eight groups altogether:-

1. Douwe, Abby and Sreekar- Assocation between sea anemones & clownfish
2. Molly, Kristina and Shana- A preliminary study on the marine community found on the rope
3. Jes, Agri and Fae- Feeding biology of various butterfly fish species.
4. Andrew, Serena and Alex- Sea cucumber and its preferred substratum
5. Nuwan and Dita- Associations between Gobies and Shrimps
6. Le and Mindy- Tradeoff in Hermit Crab.
7. Aywen and I- A preliminary study on the macrobenthic community at various intertidal zones.

Most of the mini projects commenced after lunch, whereby most of them was snorkeling either at Padang point or Sapi water. Unfortunately, my group couldn't start collecting the data because the tide was pretty high in the afternoon. During this moment, Aywen and I went into the forest to search for our independent focal taxon.

Tik-tok, Tik-tok.. It was around 5pm and the tide has begun to retreat several metres from the highest tide level. It was time for my group 'hardcore' data collecting; which required us to dig 44 quadrats or 11m sq x 5cm depth hurriedly (because the tide was coming back) using a single available 'mini' shovel and mostly by our 'naked' hands till it got cramp the next morning. Fortunately, we managed to finish collecting our data on the same night itself, which was quite relieving as we only had to relax our fingers on the keyboard, analyzing the data only for the next day!