ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) is a standard and non destructive method to measure the biodiversity of coral reef. ARMS unit is built up by stack of PVC plates. These units have been deployed in several reef sites around the world such as in Moorea (French Polynesia), Belize (Carribean), Philippine , Indonesia as well as Papua New Guniea. There were 106 units deployed alone in Indonesia, which spread in 4 sites along the archipelago, such as in Seribu Islands (Jakarta), Bali, Aceh and Papua.
In principle, theARMS unit were deployed in reef ecosystems for certain period of time until it recovered. Scientists can learn the diversity of marine biota that live in the structure (either on the surface of the plates or attached to it) settlements of reef building organisms. Furthermore, we can also study on environmental impacts to coral reef diversity using this method.
Indonesian Marine Biodiversity Database
As part of a project funded under Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), we will collaborate with Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang and Smithsonian Institution to build a comprehensive online database of decapod biodiversity in Indonesia. Providing an online resource that is highly accessible in era of increasingly advanced technology and borderless information exchange is crucial, hence this database is a top priority target of the proposed project.
Forensic Investigation of Sea Turtle
The activity is part of the project funded under Rufford Foundation. In this project, we integrating education and conservation action to help to solve the sea turtle trade issues, through the use of DNA forensic. Despite attempts to save sea turtle population, conservation practitioners were facing difficulties in accumulating reliable data on species being trade Indonesia wide. Mostly because many illegal transaction are in the form of eggs and meat, hence preventing taxonomical identification. Data reliability could be improved by application of forensic genetic, however this approach is unavailable and local expertise is severely lacking. This project seeks to promote the application of forensic genetic to arrays of managers and conservationist using workshop, training and meeting. We expect that better trading data acquisition in illegal transaction could improve future conservation strategy in saving sea turtle. This activity is a pilot project that will take place in Bali and East Java (Madura).
Genetic Population Identification of Manta
Manta specific has been a species of concern due to its alarming conservation status and escalating attention by diving communities driven by its exoticism. Nonetheless, population structure of this animal has been minimally studied raising a great concern on whether or not current conservation strategies have meet its desired purposes. Under the grant funded by Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), Bionesia, Udayana University, IBRC and Misool Baseftin, is working together to identify genetic variation and population structure of M. birostris including providing information about its ecology, biology, and distribution around East Flores. Current research effort is also coupled with variety of workshops aims to improve local researchers and students capacity to do high quality research.
Siganus species Project
Market demand for Siganus is ever increasing, leading to expanding aquaculture farm and overharvested wild stock. Such condition will lead propensity of interbreeding and when coupled with overharvesting may put natural stock and population in peril. Our collaborative project with Udayana University, IBRC, and Diponegoro University funded by Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER), aim to identify potential interbreeding case in Siganus as well as defining genetic population structure in Indonesia.
Revealing Coral Reef Fish Species
Morphological detail has been deemed to be inadequate in identifying species. And in the land of the center of marine mega biodiversity, the problem is even more complex due to diversity of fish color and pattern. Through this project, we work hand in hand with Mark Erdman and Gerald Allen, taxonomic expert from Conservation International and Western Australian Museum, by providing genetic insight to morphology based species identification. Through this effort, we successfully put a description for new coral fish species from different part of the world and many have been internationally published. This effort is no where near stopping and for this we are looking forward to working with partners from Indonesia and the world.
Stock Study of Tuna within Sulu Sulawesi Sea
Sulu Sulawesi Sea is a highly diverse marine region, which important for commercial fishing. However, the natural resources in this region are under escalating threat due to coastal development, overfishing, destructive fishing, pollution and sedimentation, which put tremendous pressure on the SSS marine ecosystem, especially on tuna population. Funded by Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research, this project aim to study the stock structure of longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol), one of the neritic tuna species that is distributed exclusively near coastal areas.
Longtail tuna has been known to catch worldwide in an increasing phase, however there is still lack of information and stock assessment on this species, which is reflected by this species being listed as Data Deficient in the IUCN Red List. Using genetic data, we aim to clarify the status of the stock and effective population size of tuna in Sulu Sulawesi Sea, which may important for managing longtail tuna population and strengthen the notion that science can be used as powerful tools for fisheries management and conservation. Other than catalyzing research activities, this project goal is also expanding partnership with regional and international institution through fisheries and scientific research. (Learn more about this project)