The 'Next Wave' Transit voyages are conducted each year onboard Australia's largest blue-water research vessel, RV Southern Surveyor. Applications are invited by marine scientists to carry out underway or opportunistic science during transits between voyages and ports.
We have been awarded a grant of five berths (bunk spaces) and myself as Chief Scientist for a transit from Brisbane to Lautoka, Fiji, planned for May 2012. In collaboration with Dr Jody Webster at University of Sydney, we will investigate the shelf and substrates off Fraser Island using multibeam and seismics, then continue the transit survey across the SW Pacific towards Fiji.
The cruise will examine the idea that this area could become a southward extension of the Great Barrier Reef in the face of long-term future climate changes. The Transit will provide a wonderful opportunity for some of our postgraduate students to participate and gather preliminary data, which can be used to mount a potentially larger expedition in the future.