Inside Science article discusses how: A DNA tool provides a high-resolution view of biodiversity and ecological processes.
National Geographic.com has published a collection of articles on work carried out by Moorea Biocode and other scientific teams based at the Gump and CRIOBE research stations. The feature includes a special focus on traditional knowledge and the importance of biocultural diversity, with particular reference to Association Te Pu Atitia. The stories are illustrated with the incredible photos of David Liittschwager.
Robert Carpenter and Peter Edmunds (California State University Northridge) have been awarded a new NSF grant for their work in Moorea. The 4-year project focuses on the corals, calcified algae, and coral reefs of Moorea, French Polynesia, and establishes baseline community-wide calcification data for the detection of ocean acidification effects on a decadal scale. It builds on the research context and climate change focus of the NSF Moorea Coral Reef Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, one of 26 such NSF LTER sites around the world. While coral reefs have undergone unprecedented changes in community structure in the past 50 years, they now may be exposed to their gravest threat since the Triassic.
Photographer David Liittschwager worked with Moorea Biocode researchers to illustrate the amazing diversity found in just a cubic foot of coral reef. See the article, with text by E.O. Wilson, in the February 2010 edition of National Geographic.
On 25 June 2009, UCB graduate student Brad Balukjian and students of the Primary School in Pao Pao presented the results of their scientific studies to the Minister of Education and other distinguished guests. The year-long "GK-12" program (2008-2009) was a partnership between UC Berkeley (Prof. Rosemary Gillespie) and the Ecole Primaire de Pao Pao, together with the U.S. National Science Foundation, Moorea Biocode Project, and Association Te Pu Atitia. While carrying out his thesis research at the Gump Station, Brad also taught two classes a week in the local school and helped the children explore their island's biodiversity. The students learned about science directly from a researcher while Brad developed his ability to communicate with a broader audience - an increasingly important skill for scientists. The experience was judged a great success and plans are being prepared to continue the program next year and if possible to expand it.
and featured on University of California homepage:
On June 13th Ron Englund and four students from his 8th grade KS Hawaii class arrived in Moorea for a week of science and exploration. Biocode communications officer Jerome Petit spent Sunday giving everyone an orientation tour of Moorea. This also included a tour of the station with it's laboratories and facilities and a presentation on the Biocode project. The class was then able to participate in two days of talks and field trips with Jean Yves Meyer: a hike up three coocnuts trail, a trip to the Miconia areas of Moorea, and a talk "Native and exotic plants of Moorea." On Wednesday, the class went out in the field with Nathalie Marie to a beautiful waterfall in Afareaitu where they collected insects. Back in the lab they learned the process of sorting by morphospecies and photography. Thursday and Friday were marine days spent with Aimee Ellison. The first day was at a local beach where everyone got in the water and collected marine benthic invertebrates with pumps and seives. Back in the lab everyone got to participate in sorting, photographing and subsampling the organisms. Friday was spent out on the water. A boat ride to the motu where four marine transects were done and data was collected. After that, a couple of hours swimming with the local population of rays and black tip reef sharks. An around the island drive concluded the day and the group's stay at the station. It was a delight to host them here at Gump and we hope that everyone enjoyed their time as well as learned a lot.
On May 10th the Biocode team welcomed two interns from University of French Polynesia into the lab. Hivanui Maiarii and Herenui Mahuta will stay at the station for the coming months and help the team with various projects that will contribute the the overal Biocode Project sampling goals. Hivanui's focus will mainly be on plant and marine sediment sampling. She will accompany teams in the feild including Jean Yves Meyer on a trip up Moua Roa mountain to collect plants and three trips to collect benthic marine invertebrates. Herenui will assist the terrestrial invertebrate team as they set up insect traps at the Lycee Agricol. She will also work on processing the Gump Station insect collection as well as aid in marine sampling. Both will also assist in the lab for specimen sorting, photographing, preserving and cataloging. Welcome!
Tuesday, May 5th the Minister of Culture and Education, Jean-Marius Raapoto, visited the Gump Station along with 5 other members of his team. Along with the minister, approximately 25 people, including Atitia members, Biocode team members, and Gump researchers and staff, met up at the Gump house. After a traditional Tahitian lunch prepared by the members of the Atitia association, everyone sat down for project presentations. These presentations were an effort to illustrate the variety of research, outreach, and projects being carried out by the station and included:
"GK-12" by Brad Balukjian
"The Biocode Project" by Jerome Petit
"Climate Change" by Eleonora Avagliano
"Atitia Association" by Hinano Murphy
"Moorea Coral Reef LTER" by Dr. Peter Edmunds
After presentations wrapped up, papa MAPE said a brief prayer and the meeting was concluded.
Wednesday, April 22th, at 9 a.m , a bilingual meeting ( tahitian/french) « Ethnocode » occurred at the station.
In attendance: Hinano MURPHY, members of Atiti'a association, Papa MAPE, Jerome PETIT and Reo TERAI from BIOCODE project, Neil DAVIES and Tamatoa BAMBRIDGE , an ethnologist from CRIOBE ( EPHE-CNRS).
The meeting began with a presentation of the Biocode project led by the Gump station. Then Hinano MURPHY presented the Ethnocode project, a "brother" project led by the Atiti'a association, whose goal is to do an inventory of all marine and terrestrial species on the island of Moorea with cultural importance.
Then we had discussions with the help of Tamatoa BAMBRIDGE: How to best organize this project? What are our materials and personnel needs?...After that, decisions were made:
1. Perfect a methodology (criteria for the species, use of a card...)
2. Perfect working parties (training, find bilingual people)
3. Help of a computer scientist ( to structure the data)
4. Help of an Ethnologist ( for the methodology)
The calendar will be set up soon.
The Gump research station had a strong presence at this years 11th Pacific Science Inter-congress and symposium on French research in the Pacific. It was a weeklong event held at the Hilton in Tahiti from March 2-6. Students, staff and researchers from Gump were all excited to join participants from across the globe in an attempt to gain new insights and collaborate with others in the realm of pacific science. The conference consisted of a poster hall and seven topical rooms where presentations were held: Ecosystem 1-3, Culture, Health, Climate, and Economy. The station had nineteen affiliated scientists give presentations on a range of topics from coral bleaching and climate change, to invasive species and genetic barcoding.
A full list of talks and posters will be coming soon.