Pygmy Seahorse Research
With the help of a very kind Taiwanese gentleman, Paladin Liu, I am now pleased to offer a Chinese version of the Code of Conduct for diving with and photographing pygmy seahorses.
Paladin has been seeing pygmy seahorses on some of his dives in Taiwan and wished to help protect them by sharing the Code of Conduct with his dive buddies. I'm really pleased for his input and helping for this information to reach such a wide audience.
I was awarded my PhD in April 2011 on the biology and conservation of gorgonian-associated pygmy seahorses. I thought it was about time that I posted the abstract of my thesis for anyone who's interested to have a little taster of some of my findings. The individual chapters comprising my thesis are in the process of being published in the scientific journals so there will be more information about each of these as they are released.
The Oceania Dive Expo will be in Brisbane, Australia between Friday 7th and Sunday 9th October 2011 and I am booked to present! My seminar, which is on Saturday 8th October between 4.10 and 4.40pm, is entitled 'The Private Life of Pygmy Seahorses'. I'll be talking about my research on pygmy seahorses and some of the fascinating aspects of their biology that I discovered during my PhD. Check out the website for more information at www.OceaniaDiveExpo.com
On the 1st April 2011 my PhD was officially awarded. I am the first person to have completed a PhD on the biology of pygmy seahorses and I'm excited to share some of my findings. My thesis is entitled 'The Biology and Conservation of Gorgonian-Associated Pygmy Seahorses'. I will be publishing the findings from my thesis in the scientific literature in the coming months so keep checking back or sign up to my blog updates for details. Until then I wanted to share some information and facts about pygmy seahorses:
After 8 weeks, 143 dives and 52 hours of behavioural observations I am leaving Wakatobi. During this time I have been lucky enough to witness pygmies conducting daily courtship rituals, mating, giving birth and even fighting. I have collected some great data and will have plenty to work on when I get home.
My penultimate week here at Wakatobi Dive Resort has already passed and less than seven days remain. If you have missed my previous blogs I have spent the last seven weeks observing and documenting the social and reproductive behaviour of pygmy seahorses for my PhD studies. There have been highs and lows during this time when I have been lucky enough to witness the birth of a new generation of Denise’s pygmies (Hippocampus denise) and unfortunately the loss of some adults, which left their exceedingly melancholy mates (obviously without anthropomorphising too much!).
Time has again flown, and yet another eventful week here at Wakatobi Dive Resort has passed. Unfortunately the news from the group of pygmy seahorses whose behaviour I have been observing is not good.
Another busy week has passed here at Wakatobi Dive Resort and there have been some highs and lows in the pygmy group on the House Reef.
It was cigars all around early in the week when I was lucky enough to be present at the birth of a new generation of Denise’s pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus denise). I had predicted the time and date of the birth based on the expected gestation period of the species (which I figured out a couple of years ago) and the timing of social activities in seahorses.
Another week has flown by here at Wakatobi Dive Resort. I have now spent 25 hours observing my little group of Denise’s pygmy seahorses (Hippocampus denise) on the resort’s House Reef. You may remember in my last blog I mentioned a female that was giving me some heart-stopping moments when she made epic journeys from one part of her gorgonian coral host to another (for a pygmy seahorse 20cm is epic!).