Education at Reef HQ Aquarium
Reef Research - Reef HQ

Reef Research

Reef HQ Aquarium aims to contribute to scientific research. Thanks to its large marine tanks, it is an ideal position to support research institutions and industry partners in their projects. Ultimately, this helps to provide a sustainable research platform to increase our knowledge of the marine environment, makes science and innovation to the community, and aims for a better protection and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef.

Researchers regularly contact Reef HQ Aquarium for specific projects, submit a proposal for collaboration which is assessed based on technical feasibility, requirements of staff time, expected output, and relevance of project to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority missions.

Reef HQ Aquarium Intern


Reef HQ Aquarium offers six-month curatorial and research internships to suitably qualified and motivated applicants.

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Solars panels on the roof of Reef HQ Aquarium

Greening Reef HQ Aquarium

Reef HQ Aquarium continually strives to minimise its environmental impacts by implementing a number of activities.

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Coral Propogation at Reef HQ Aquarium

Past Research Programs

Past research programs include Coral Propagation, Ocean Acidification, Harlequin Filefish and Climate Change, Shark Research.

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Coral Finder in use by divers in the field

Underwater Coral Guidebook

Watch out! The coral reef exhibit is a hostile environment. An underwater guidebook to easily identify coral species by non-specialist has been published. Reef research helps test its resistance to the hostile marine conditions.

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Sawfish in predator exhibit

Sawfish displayed in Aquaria

Is displaying endangered sawfish species in public aquaria serving conservation efforts to guarantee its long term survival in the wild? Surveys done with reef research are trying to work it out.

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Clutch of eggs of A polyacanthis paid on pot plant

Chromis and Predators

Parent of the year award goes to the damselfish. How do damselfish offspring learn from their parents to escape predators? Reef research is looking to see if this skill is passed down from parent to juveniles.

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Great Barrier Reef Sponge

Sponge Reproduction

Everyone knows and uses sponges but few know how they grow. So how can we farm sponges to supply the market in a sustainable way? Reef research helps understand the life cycle of these strange animals.

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A severe case of Fibropapilomatposis in a green turtle

Turtle DNA Collection

How can we collect samples from turtles in the ocean to study wild diseases? Reef research gives access to turtles in its Turtle Hospital to test a method for DNA sampling.

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Leopard Shark two months old

Juvenile Leopard Sharks Project

Is it a sea snake? No, it's a baby leopard shark. Leopard sharks are the largest of the egg-laying shark species. As they grow from embryo to adult, they also undergo one of the most dramatic transitions in body markings.

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Derbesia collected at Reef HQ Aquarium with prominent spore sacs

Alga and Fatty Acids

Super seaweeds to the rescue! Genetic selection of high performance alga for the production of fatty acids.

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Last published on 01/05/2014

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Associated Sites

  • Australian Government - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • T-QUAL - Australian Tourism Quality Assured
  • Eco certified - Advanced Ecotourism
  • Australia Climate Action Business
  • Respecting Our Culture Certified

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