Since 2014, we have been researching the shallow and mesophotic reefs of the Senyavin Islands (Pohnpei Island, and neighbouring atolls Ant and Pakin). These expeditions have yielded new species to science, novel ecological surveys, and previously unknown observations of poorly understood animals.
Figure 1. Six Blotched Fantail Rays Taeniurops meyeni (Müller & Henle, 1841); IUCN Vulnerable. Aggregated together under a deep buttress at 96 m (315 ft) depth, Pohnpei, FSM. It is not clear why this typically solitary species are aggregating here and at such depth. Image by SJ. Rowley.
A significant amount of research has and continues to be conducted throughout the region. A summary of some of this research can be found in a recently published book chapter (Rowley et al. 2019). Annual expeditions are also outlined in outreach, videos, presentations, and blog pages. You are welcome to contact me if you have any questions or wish to contribute towards these research activities. Thank you for taking the time to visit this site and do keep checking in for expedition updates.
The reefs of the Senyavin islands fringe the low-lying atolls Ant and Pakin, and the high-island of Pohnpei, which has the tallest Mountain (Mount Nanlaud) in the FSM. At 8.7 million years of age (Rehman et al. 2013), such remote and isolated volcanic structures provide opportunities for the evolutionary novelty of many species leading to distinct physiological tolerance and enhanced biodiversity.
Welcome. This page is currently in progress and will be completed by the end of December 2021. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, otherwise relevant publications can be found below. Thank you for your patience and please return for updates soon of the extensive research that has and continues to be conducted here. Please also see outreach pages for footage, presentations, blogs and more.
Rowley SJ, Roberts TE, Coleman RR, Joseph E, Spalding HL, Dorricott MKI (2019) Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. In Loya Y, Puglise K, Bridge T (Ed.), Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems. Coral Reefs of the World, vol 12. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-92735-0_17
Rowley SJ, Roberts TE, Coleman RR, Spalding HL, Joseph E, Dorricott MK (2018) Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, Technical Report. pp.38. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.16217.16480
Rowley SJ, Roberts TE, Coleman RR, Spalding HL, Joseph E, Dorricott MK (2018) Lay-Summary: Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, Technical Report. pp.14. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.29638.93763
Rowley SJ (2016) Exploration and Systematics of Deep-Reef Gorgonian Corals at Pakin Atoll, Micronesia. Systematic Research Fund. Technical Report. pp. 9. DOI:10.13140/RG.2.2.21953.86886