Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

It is hard to accurately describe the captivating beauty of Pohnpei, and neighbouring atolls Ant and Pakin (collectively known as the Senyavin Islands) in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The diversity of habitats and remote location has resulted in a unique biodiversity and evolutionary novelty that persists at mesophotic depths.

Since the initial expedition in 2014, active research from shallow to mesophotic depths has taken place on a near-annual basis. These expeditions have yielded new species to sciencenovel ecological surveys, and previously unknown observations of poorly understood animals. But, this has also led to the clear realisation that the islands and low-lying atolls of the Pacific are vulnerable to increases in ocean temperatures and sea-level rise due to global warming

Therefore, in addition to my own mesophotic gorgonian research, I have been characterising these reefs across a depth range of 150-0.5 m/492-1.6 ft. It is here and at Kimbe Bay, PNG, where I really began to adapt the shallow-water ecological and experimental procedures learnt in the Wakatobi to mesophotic depths.

The MMR is specifically designed to learn and continually develop these field techniques and support this ongoing research in collaboration with the Pohnpei Surf and Dive Club

Get Involved

To expand your skills and participate in expedition research projects you will learn critical procedures tailored to mesophotic depths. There are three options currently available for this location, which will prepare or actually involve you (depending on your level of experience) for expedition research.

Click on the Sign up tab below to register your interest.

The variety of equipment to assess contrasting environments across depth can range from cinder blocks and plastic bottles, to deep-ocean current meters and CTDs. It’s a lot of fun!