Kavieng Lagoon Biodiversity Survey
New Ireland, Papua New Guinea
This expedition was conducted by the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, and took place over four weeks in July 2014. Hugh Morrison, Jana Kratzsch, and Felix Lorenz were hired to hand-collect samples of marine organisms by SCUBA diving. A team of over 60 scientists was stationed on the island of Andooff Kavieng, while the divers were stationed on the MV PNG Explorer, a boat well equipped for this purpose.
A shuttle from the boat to the laboratory was operating twice a day, taking back living molluscs for the subsequent dissecting and preserving of tissue for DNA barcoding. Again, a main focus was the family Conidae, whose toxins are subject of worldwide research. We collected well over 900 DNA samples of Conoidea. All of them have been tissue-clipped and preserved in alcohol: they will be sequenced in he following years and represent an invaluable resource for further studies.
On a total of 72 dives, the team of the MSF collected several thousand samples. The greatest discovery of the trip in the field of malacology is a new species of Conidae, which has just been described as Conus hughmorrisoni Lorenz & Puillandre 2014. Paratype specimens are in the collection of the MSF.