Reaching a new country and a new continent is bound to offer a new perspective on many things. For me, differences in the native ecology are simply mind boggling. Here in Sydney, cockatoos are a common wild bird. I have seen three at a time shrieking at each other and vying for space near a cavity in a large eucalyptus tree by the house this morning. The cockatoos are very loud and wake at the crack of dawn to begin their calling. Now it is lunch and they seem to have taken a reprieve. Out the window is the 'bush', however to my knowledge, it is a large expanse of eucalyptus forest, dotted with cockatoos. I guess it is not uncommon to see wallaby's in the yard, but so far I haven't caught one hopping by. Private gardens in town are lush with tropical flowers, ferns and palm trees reminding me much of my short time in Kauai two years ago.
As far as work, we will begin our study of Labyrinthula in the seagrass beds nearby. Tomorrow I will get a chance to see the University of Sydney and meet other researchers who work with Dr. Frank Gleason. Today I will spend some time looking into the seagrass species we are likely to encounter in the nearshore. Tomorrow Frank and I will meet with Dr. Lilje and discuss setting up a culture lab and explore the potential to complete some pathogenicity testing. It is very exciting to be apart of Labyrinthula research again. The research of Labyrinthula in Australia has been very limited and I am grateful to expand the work here. Given the acceleration of climate change impacts nearer to the poles, this work may prove to be very important in seagrass monitoring.
That is all I have for now. Mostly I have been just relaxing and getting adjusted to the time change. I expect I will write much more beginning next week.