For six weeks of the summer vacation I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collect data for my undergraduate dissertation at Operation Wallacea’s internationally recognized centre of marine research on Hoga Island, South East Sulawesi, Indonesia. Operation Wallacea is an organization that conducts biological and conservation management research in remote locations around the world. Thus, my data has contributed to Operation Wallacea’s ongoing research and management of the region, as a part of the Wakatobi Marine National Park.
My research concerns the insular biogeography of fish on coral patch reefs. As patch reefs may be regarded as habitat islands, surrounded by contrasting matrix, the data will be analysed to test the applicability of MacArthur and Wilson’s classic 1967 monograph, the theory of island biogeography. If the theory is found to apply in this instance, this information could be used to determine the size and placement of artificial reefs to encourage optimal colonization. As a geographer with limited experience in marine biology, the work proved to be intensive but also highly rewarding. When I return to university I look forward to analysing my data and anticipate that it will provide interesting results, which should be of use in maintaining the biodiversity of the region.