A short summary of my project
I'm raising £3500 to fund my MSc thesis research in Indonesia this summer. I shall be heading to the heart of the coral triangle to investigate the impacts of anthropogenic (man-made) noise of coral reef fish. The funds I raise will go towards my expedition costs; I will spending 8 weeks researching on a remote island with NGO Operation Wallacea.
Who am i?
Hi! My name is Maddie, I'm a 21 year-old Tropical Marine Biology Master's student. I would consider myself a writer, photographer, dive junkie and all round adventurer! Oh, and of course, I am completely obsessed with the ocean... Prior to embarking upon an MSc at the University of Essex, I graduated from the University of Exeter in 2017, obtaining a BSc in Biological Sciences.
So, let's talk about noise! From the sound of motor boats to the drilling of oil rigs, anthropogenic noise literally means human-made noise. Noise pollution is probably one of the lessor known stressors of the ocean, but if you recently saw the finale episode of Blue Planet II you may know a little bit about it. Man-made noise has been shown to affect fish by:
- Disrupting communication (how they talk to each other)
- Increasing the risk of death by predation
- Changing behaviour
My research will be investigating the impacts of noise pollution on the feeding behaviour of fish.
But why is this coral reef research so important?! Here are some quick (& fun coral) coral reef stats:
- Coral reefs are disappearing
- Human activity has threatened 58% of coral reefs
- Indonesia and the Philippines are home to 77% of SE Asia's coral reefs
- Indonesia's coral reefs have an economic value of US$1.6 BILLION per year
- More than 80% of the world's shallow reefs are severely overfished
To conclude, if we can provide evidence to show that noise pollution negatively affects marine life, we can get governments to implement better management strategies to make sure that it doesn't add more stress to coral reefs!
Where will the money go?
What will you spend the funding on?
The cost of conducting the research is £3500, with money being paid directly to the NGO, Operation Wallacea. Research costs include:
- Living expenses: This money will cover my bed and board for two months. (Don't imagine that I will be living in luxury though, to give you an idea, a shower on Hoga Island consists of a bucket and water...)
- Laboratory usage: Costs also go towards the maintenance of the basic lab facilities on Hoga Island that I will be able to use during my researchthere.
- Diving: As the majority of my data will be collected by SCUBA, funding will cover the cost of renting scuba equipment and boat fees.
- Insurance: Practiced safely & responsibly, diving is relatively safe. However, there are always inherent risks to travelling, and having travel insurance will cover me should anything go wrong.
If even only the minimum amount, £500, is reached, it go towards my flights, visa and internal travel. As a student and a scientist, I largely have to rely on grants and the goodwill of others to carry out my research. However near you can help me get to my overall goal of £3,500 will lessen the burden on me to meet the shortfall with further fundraising. Marine biology is known for not exactly being lucrative and I will not get paid to carry out my investigation this summer... so every little contribution will go such a long way!
If you think that my project sounds like something that you would like to donate to, there are some fab rewards on the right hand side to thank everyone for pitching in!
Find me here
Follow my journey this summer on instagram: my handle is @mads.ocean . I will also be writing blog posts throughout my journey on www.themarinediaries.com .
Help me succeed!
Thank you for showing interest in my research this summer! If you would like to know how you can help me succeed, keep reading...
- Whether it's a penny or a pound, every little that is contributed will directly help me to fund this essential coral reef research!
- If you can't afford to spare a penny, there are other ways in which you can help me succeed! Spread the word and please share this project with anyone you think would support me – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram