Thailand Expedition 2019
Thailand is considered a biodiversity hotspot in its region of the world. Boasting nearly 1000 bird species; 15,000 plant species; 1721 terrestrial vertebrate species; 2000 marine fish species; 11,900 marine invertebrate species; 2000 marine mollusc species; 1000 orchids species, 3000 fungi species; 294 mammal species; 360+ reptile species; 160+ amphibian species; 570 species of freshwater fish. As well as 7000 known species of arthropod – which is believed to be only 10% of the actual arthropod total in Thailand. It also hosts 1700 globally threatened species. The species richness and potential for conservation makes Thailand an ideal location for scientific research.
Phuket island is situated in the south of Thailand and joined by bridge to the mainland. It was first established by Indian merchants in the 1st century BC and has since been influenced by many different cultures including the sino-portugese which can be seen in the architecture of Phuket Town, Chinese, Malay and other countries on the surrounding borders. In the 1970's Phuket began to see western tourism influx and since then has developed into a popular tourist destination, which now reaches up to 3 million visitors per year.
2019 will mark the first year that the University of Glasgow and Exploration Society will send a team of 8 students, from various degree paths, on expedition to Phuket, Thailand. The team will focus on marine research in its first year with an emphasis on collecting baseline data to form a platform for future expedition research projects.
The team will be undertaking studies in benthic coral composition and abundance and fish population structure and abundance found at different dive sites surrounding Phuket Island. A third study will examine the shark fishing industry and its effect on the local populations.