Queensland's Citizen Science Hub

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The website Jolt Science http://joltscience.com.au/, operated by Robert Whyte, member of the Royal Society of Queensland, showcases a monthly web TV series in which innovators and experts talk science.

Shellfish reefs (oysters, mussels etc.) are “the lungs” of healthy estuaries, providing various “ecosystem engineering” services including filtering to clean the water, nutrient uptake, shoreline stabilisation and food  and shelter for fish and crabs.

However, today less than 5% of historical shellfish populations remain in Pumicestone Passage, off northern Moreton Bay, due mainly to declining water quality which disrupts their breeding cycle.

Restore Pumicestone Passage” is a group of community people with the aim of scientifically examining the best methods of restoring subtidal shellfish reefs in Pumicestone Passage and quantifying their effects on improving water quality and fish habitat in the Passage and Moreton Bay. The group’s website has a wealth of accessible information about shellfish reef restoration in Australia and internationally.

Trove is the National Library of Australia’s umbrella search engine. It indexes books, periodicals and other materials held in the National Library and a large number of other contributing libraries including universities. (For example, it indexes more than 420,000 items in the Brisbane City Council library network and more than 2 million from The University of Queensland’s libraries).

Seeking a document from a defunct website? Try Pandora, the National Library’s archival engine that sweeps a select range of official and other websites (including that of the Royal Society of Queensland) periodically and stores them in perpetuity

A downloadable Data Test – Oysters based on experiments aimed at restoring shellfish reefs has been prepared for use in classes in biology and marine science under Queensland’s 2019 senior secondary syllabus. The module has been prepared by Mr Michael Howe, Maths/Science/Marine Teacher at Bribie Island State High School. The original data sets were included in a scientific paper by Royal Society of Queensland Member and marine scientist Dr Ben Diggles entitled “Annual pattern of settlement of Sydney Rock oyster spat in Pumicestone Passage“ . Supplementary data and a spreadsheet with spatfall field data referred to in the article and charts with data on Leaf oysters and a Time series are also available.

Subsequently, in September 2019,  Dr Diggles provided an Invertebrate Report with the following explanation:

“I attach a copy of the 9-month invertebrate report. Not too much happening by way of growth or recruitment of shellfish on the reefs in the middle of winter, except for some honeycomb oyster settlement. But the spat settlement data comparing the cage reef vs the patch reef from the 2017 deployment are telling, as they show that anchor damage to the patch reefs lowers their profile and reduces their effectiveness for attracting spat.

Healthy Land and Water have commissioned some underwater drone footage of the trial reefs which is available at https://youtu.be/N1ZKITKE7SA. Again, note the anchor damage to the smaller patch reef deployed in 2017. Fortunately the cages, the biodegradable BESE reefs and the larger patch reefs deployed in 2018, while still vulnerable to anchor damage, are proving to be more robust, the latter probably due to their larger size and the larger besser brick fence modules surrounding them.”

For a background instructional video on why all this work is being done in Australia, refer to the video at  https://youtu.be/Dn8dZrWK7fM, available at the website https://www.shellfishrestoration.org.au/ . This is the national website allied with the local Moreton Bay site http://restorepumicestonepassage.org/ .

Stage two of the TS Onslow Naval Cadets Shoreline Management Project has been successfully completed. This community-driven project on the northern Pumicestone Passage at Golden Beach aims to prevent erosion of the foreshore and enhance fish habitat. Project outcomes include planting mangroves and stabilising dune species with biodegradable coir logs, potato starch matrix sheets and reef star modules. This project was made possible through funding from the National Landcare Program, Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science Sustainability Grant, and the Caloundra Power Boat Club. Details here.

Interested to participate in a first of its’ kind exciting Australia wide Citizen Science project? Pesticide Detectives is an extensive project investigating the occurrence and concentrations of pesticides in Australian waterways. It is funded by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Business and undertaken by the Aquatic Environmental Stress Research Group (AQUEST) based at RMIT University. Citizen Scientists in collaboration with AQUEST scientists will collect sediments from waterways across Australia to advance our understanding of pesticide contamination in Australia’s waterways. Results from the study will be shared with you and will be available on our webpage. Learn more about pesticides in your waterway by participating in this study.

Download Pesticide Detectives pdf

Go to www.rmit.edu.au/pesticidedetectives for further information.

The Hut Environmental and Community Association held a forum on Saturday, 11 August 2018 at Pullenvale.

The keynote address was by Prof Ian Lowe, member of The Royal Society of Queensland on “The role of citizen science in modern Australia“.

The Moreton Bay Foundation was officially launched on the 30 August by His Excellency the Governor at a function at Brisbane City Hall. An immensely rich compendium of contemporary and ancient Indigenous knowledge Moreton Bay Quandamooka & Catchment: Past, present, and future was also launched and is now available as an E-book as well as in print.

Books and Research Papers

Congratulations to the Foundation as it seeks to build knowledge and make it available to the communities of Moreton Bay and beyond.

Royal Society of Queensland member Ariel Marcy has made available her free science game design platform, DIY Go Extinct! Students can create one-of-a-kind Go Extinct! games featuring evolutionary trees of Australian marsupials, megafauna, flowers, dinosaurs, venomous snakes, and citizens of the Great Barrier Reef! (available now at www.steamgalaxy.com/design-your-own-game/). The platform, supported by grants from the Advance Queensland initiative and from the U.S. Embassy continues to be live for families, game enthusiasts and classrooms alike to use worldwide.

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