Friday, 20 September 2013

Climate Change: Our Backs to the Future

By Ryan Pearson
This week climate change has been at the forefront of the media, and is finally getting some of the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, it's for all the wrong reasons because, in his first couple of days as Australia's new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has already made his agenda abundantly clear. There is no space under his government for environmental protection, or those who endorse it.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

One way ecology could save the planet!

By Ryan Pearson
Ecology is a science. To the layperson it is not as famous a science as the 'big three' - physics, chemistry, and biology - but it's a completely valid science, and arguably one of the most complex. In this day and age, a time of rapid global change, it is also arguably one of the most important sciences.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Into the Twilight Zone: Some cutting edge exploratory science!

By Ryan Pearson
As I believe I've made abundantly clear already, I'm a scientist, and I'm particularly fascinated with the marine world. For the past few months I have been focusing my research efforts into some of the deeper water rocky reefs offshore from the Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Using baited remote underwater video (BRUV) sampling techniques, I've been looking particularly closely at the number and types of scavenging species that occur at these reefs between depths of approximately 30m-85m. This zone in scientific terms is called the mesophotic zone which roughly translated into plain english means 'middle light'. That means there is some light available, but it is at much lower intensities than in shallow waters or at the surface. Combine this intermediate light phenomena with the Gold Coast's location firmly in the sub-tropics and we get to see some very interesting dynamics between tropical and temperate fish species from both shallow and very deep water. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Don't worry guys, evolution is just a 'theory'.

By Ryan Pearson
Didn't you hear? Evolution is just a theory, so clearly it's just made up. It's a lie. Animals didn't 'evolve' to be what we see today, plants, and fungi, and bacteria didn't either. They just appeared one day (approximately 6,000 years ago) after being placed here by a higher power. Clearly all of the evidence and 'facts' support this fundamental bit of knowledge and evolution has already been proven wrong... right? Surely someone out there has tried, and found it very easy to disprove the 'guess' that people are calling evolution... surely... right? Well, in truth, plenty of people have tried...

Friday, 7 June 2013

Queenslands Hidden Secrets: Carnarvon Gorge

Carnarvon Gorge from within.

By Ryan Pearson
I had a few days off this week so I borrowed my parents Winnebago, and trekked as far west as I've been in Australia to the fabled Carnarvon Gorge. This place is a wonderland of flora and fauna and natural history dating back thousands of years. It's a hidden, ancient secret amidst Queenslands semi-arid west that harbours an amazing diversity of species from a variety of much wetter habitats than the surrounds suggest. In fact, the planned walks encompass such a variety of habitats that it almost feels like you're walking through a number of exhibits in the worlds largest museum. Here's a break-down of the park with a lot of pictures along the way...

Monday, 15 April 2013

Griffith Uni Dive Club and the Amazing Solitary Islands

One of many grey nurse sharks in front of the amazing Manta Arch.
By Ryan Pearson
This past weekend myself and 7 other lucky divers ventured a few hours south to Coffs Harbour to dive the Solitary Islands with Banana Coast Divers and boy were we in for a treat! The swell forecast was ominous for both days, but that didn't stop us jumping on the boat and heading out. It did prevent us from getting out to South Solitary Island on the first day, so we found ourselves diving at Split Solitary. The second day we got to South Solitary and were treated to one of the nicest days on and under the water anyone could hope for. Here's some pics from the trip.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Ryan's Technicolour Dream Critter List

Me, surrounded by whale sharks at Oslob, Cebu, Philippines, during my favourite underwater encounter so far. Photo: DD Virkki.

By Ryan Pearson
When I first embarked on my long-term love affair with the underwater world, I didn't really know what to expect, nor did I really have any goals as to what I wanted to see underwater. 200+ dives, and thousands of photographs later, my thoughts have changed. Here I present an ever evolving list of the critters I really think everyone should experience being in the water with (i.e. those that I have seen, and those that I still haven't checked off my list).

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Melbourne feat. Flinder's Pier and the Amazing Weedy Sea Dragons

Weedy Sea Dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). Photo: Ryan Pearson
By Ryan Pearson
I went on a 10 day trip to Melbourne for my first temperate water dives and a hunt for some Weedy Sea Dragons. Not everything went to plan, but it was still an awesome trip either way.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Gold Coast Seaway at Dusk

Red-Netted Chromodoris (Chromodoris tinctoria). Photo: Ryan Pearson
By Ryan Pearson
Wow, it's been a while. I've been busy with finishing uni and trips to Melbourne and Mon Repos... but that's not what I want to talk about here. I've just been for a dusk dive in the Gold Coast Seaway. It was far from the greatest dive ever, and I didn't get any of the stonefish mating I'd hoped for, but I still saw some interesting stuff.