This year is off to an exciting (and jetsetting) start for the REEF team, as two of our staff recently traveled to Tasmania, the southernmost state in Australia, to present at various scientific conferences. First, REEF Co-Executive Director Christy Pattengill-Semmens, Ph.D., attended the International Temperate Reefs Symposium. Christy and her husband Dr. Brice Semmens, a frequent REEF scientific collaborator, both gave presentations at the conference, which hosted scientists from around the world who study kelp forests and rocky reefs. Christy presented on REEF's work to study temperate reef species in the Salish Sea and the potential effects of climate change, and Brice discussed how marine protected areas and other environmental factors are affecting larval rockfish species.

Several weeks later, REEF Conservation Science Manager Alli Candelmo, Ph.D., attended the National Centrostephanus Workshop, a meeting to share information and shape management priorities for long-spined sea urchin, Centrostephanus rodgersii, an invasive species that has decimated reefs and kelp habitat in Tasmania. Alli was part of a panel on invasive species management, where she shared insights about invasive lionfish control and management throughout Florida.

Outside of their conference obligations, Christy and Alli both got the chance to go diving in Tasmania, and were lucky to see Weedy Sea Dragons! These unique fish are related to seahorses, and are found in kelp forests, rocky reefs, and seagrass beds on the southern coast of Australia. We're proud that Alli and Christy were able to represent REEF at both of these events in Tasmania, and look forward to continuing to grow our scientific impact in the coming year.

Photo by Christy Semmens.