Ecology detectives: species on the move on Heard Island

It was the 25
th November 1853. Captain John Heard sighted land*. Heard’s wife, who was on board, called the land “a frigid looking place”.


How right she was, and so wrong too. 



Heard Island. The view from aboard the Southern Supporter. © Robb Clifton

Research involving historical data can turn up many a query and solve many a mystery. So can investing in scientific research and monitoring. The following scientific expedition involved much detective work including historical literature which informed monitoring and research.

Heard Island crew

Heard Island 2003-2004 expeditioners (source Australian Antarctic Magazine Issue 7 Spring 2004)

On Heard Island, one hundred and fifty years after it was first sighted, 28 scientists and support crew landed. I went ashore with 12 people to ‘Try Pot Beach’ otherwise known as ‘The Spit’, as part of the Terrestrial Ecologist crew. So started two and a half months on subantarctic Heard Island. Continue reading