Discover More about Antarctica at the Museum of Tropical Queensland

06 April 2010

The largest study ever undertaken to discover the deep marine life of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean - the Collaborative East Antarctic Marine Census - will be the subject of a free public lecture at the Museum of Tropical Queensland on Tuesday 13 April at 12 noon.

Cairns-based James Cook University marine geologist Dr Robin Beaman will deliver the lecture titled, 'Census of Antarctic Marine Life.'

During summer 2007-08, Dr Beaman joined the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, France's l'Astrolabe and Japan's Umitaka Maru to explore the plankton, fish, invertebrate life and oceanography of Antarctica’s deep continental shelf.

Dr Beaman said his lecture would take the audience on an underwater tour across the seascape between Australia and Antarctica.

"The rich underwater imagery collected by the expedition highlights the incredible diversity of marine life in this remote and extreme environment," Dr Beaman said.

"In areas that are under sea ice for three quarters of the year, we found a wealth of surprises. The colour of the seabed life and the sponge and bryozoa reefs rivalled anything I’ve seen on the Great Barrier Reef. Many of the animals we saw were the first records of life in this part of Antarctica."

Director of the Museum of Tropical Queensland Peter McLeod said the talk's Antarctic theme linked to the new Quest for the South Magnetic Pole display, opening at the Museum on 23 April.

"In the tradition of the explorers highlighted in this upcoming exhibit, Dr Beaman and the other expeditioners were conducting their research close to the South Magnetic Pole, which lies off the Antarctic coast," Mr McLeod said.

The lecture is part of the Museum of Tropical Queensland's Discover More Talk series, held on the second Tuesday of each month.

Entry to the Museum of Tropical Queensland is free for locals through the Council Community Pass, supported by Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook councils.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum, is open from 9.30am - 5pm daily (closed Anzac Day morning, 25 April).

Media contacts

  • Mei Nee Cheong 4726 0603 or 0414 264 987
  • Stephen Wilson 4726 0604 or 0431 334 583

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