CQUniversity alumna Dr Alison Jones is celebrating the upcoming launch of her new book Keppel Islands – Extraordinary Reefs.The book showcases the unique reefs of the Keppel Islands and explores how they have evolved to adapt to local conditions. Dr Jones also guides readers to some of her favourite dive sites while highlighting the coral species you can expect to find, and any hazards to watch out for. Her personal star rating of every dive site is a must-have reference for snorkellers and divers alike.
As a reef ecologist and coral physiologist who has lived and worked on Great Keppel (Wop-pa) Island, Dr Jones has extensive experience in monitoring coral reefs and assessing the impact of coral bleaching. She has focused her research on establishing a sound body of work to inform the management of the inshore reefs in Keppel Bay.
Dr Jones said the extraordinary nature of the coral reefs of the Keppel Islands is not simply that they survive and, indeed, thrive – but that they exist at all.
“They live at the southern limits of their geographic range, with the added stressors of periodic freshwater flooding and marine heat waves.
“Part of the message from this book is that these reefs (inshore Keppels) are vastly different to offshore or mid-shelf reefs and evolved during a time of immense climatic and environmental disturbance, so they are well-equipped to alter their composition or recover,” Dr Jones explained.
To help restore the health of the Great Barrier Reef, Dr Jones said many people making small changes could be as effective as a big industry making larger changes.
“My recommendations are not to interfere too much with natural processes like reef regeneration and to focus our efforts on invasive species, improved land and water management and stepping up our personal eco credentials, such as using less herbicides or fertilisers on our lawns and gardens which drain to stormwaters and using less plastics wherever possible.”
Dr Jones currently works as an independent environmental consultant and author. She holds a Bachelor in Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry from James Cook University and a PhD in Coral Physiology from CQUniversity.
The book is a complication of the research work she did during her PhD and as a Post-Doctoral researcher. It will be available for purchase from Saturday, 25 June on her website www.keppels.com.au