5: Coming to a Close

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Moreton Bay, Australia
© G. Giribet

Our two weeks at Moreton Bay have been both productive and enjoyable. We've worked hard, but we've found nearly every species that we wanted to. We were very lucky with the weather, managing to go offshore despite the occasional storms.

After photographing and processing the animals collected during yesterday's scuba dives, we spent this morning packing the remaining specimens. Then, we stuffed our suitcases again and boarded the ferry back to the mainland. With us we carry numerous boxes of specimens that will be shipped from the Queensland Museum to Chicago. Leftover chemicals and unused laboratory supplies need to be taken care of; we leave some at the island station to be used by future research teams.

Our group is dispersing in many directions. Some of us are spending a little extra time at the Queensland Museum in Brisbane to deal with the specimen shipments and to study animals in the museum collections. Others are connecting to Singapore to find a few more bivalves for our project. And some are heading to a scientific meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

We've achieved our goal—a good part of the material for the bivalve Tree of Life is "in the bag!" Our work here would not have been possible without the terrific local support we've received. We would like to thank the staff of the Moreton Bay Research Station, especially Martin, Emma, and our cook Christina (great paella!). We also thank the crew of the Fisheries Research Vessel "Tom Marshall," Captain Sean Maberly, and Linsay McCloskey, for helping to make our offshore dredging so successful and for putting up with huge piles of mud on an otherwise clean ship.

And although our expedition has drawn to a close, please keep watch for a series of videos that I'll be posting showing our work in Moreton Bay. So stay tuned... Rüdiger

© G. Giribet
Last Day
© P. Mikkelsen
Wet Lab at Moreton Bay