Simon Morley joins the team as a scientific diver but is also running two projects that will add to research being conducted across the globe. Over the last 10 years the team at the British Antarctic Survey have measured the temperature limits of animals from Arctic, temperate, tropical and Antarctic shallow seas. By measuring how the temperature limits of marine animals change when temperature is raised at different rates they aim to predict how vulnerable these animals will be to climate change in different locations. Ascension Island provides an ideal comparison with tropical Singapore as it compares an isolated tropical Island (Ascension) with one that is almost continuous with other land masses and is exposed to much higher levels of human influence.
[caption id="attachment_331" align="aligncenter" width="584"] Dr Morley tending to his aquaria which have been set up in the Ascension Island Conservation offices.
The second project is to look at the settlement of larvae onto an artificial sea bed that can be turned over and photographed on a regular basis. Whilst the team can deploy the plates during the survey, this project will be continued by local divers who will visit the plates every 6-8 weeks to take more photos as animals settle and start to grow on the plates. We will also attach temperature loggers to the plates so that we can measure changes in temperature throughout the year.