Founded in 1973, the Lizard Island Research Station has studied reef ecologies and the impacts of climate change for fifty years. In such an isolated place, dedication to research on the reef becomes a lifestyle, and fieldwork is ongoing, through rain, hail, or shine.
With only four permanent staff, and capacity for around 40 researchers on the island, the resourceful team at Lizard Island have conducted field studies, collected samples and specimens all over the island and its marine surrounds. Over time, these rich datasets can measure rising sea levels, temperatures, ocean acidification and storm activity caused by anthropogenic climate change, or increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
The coral reef surrounding this isolated island makes Lizard Island a significant research site for the impact of coral bleaching events, plagues of crown of thorns starfish, and cyclones on the reef ecosystem.
From humble beginnings on a remote island, building the facility from the ground up, to a hub of internationally renowned research and climate change action, the researchers at Lizard Island Research Station challenge us to contribute to climate action and become custodians of the lands we live on.
Dr Anne Hoggett AM and her partner Dr Lyle Vail AM have been at the forefront of important research conducted on Lizard Island since 1990. This year, the Australian Museum’s annual Talbot Oration takes place on May 31st 2023, and is being hosted by Lizard Island Research Station’s co-director Dr Anne Hoggett AM.