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Redmap's top verifying scientists

Yvette Barry, 12 Dec 2016.

Redmap has a secret weapon: a network of 80+ marine science boffins around Australia. These experts verify sighting photos so they can be added to the Redmap database and displayed on redmap.org.au. Meet 5 Redmap scientists who've reviewed the most sightings on Redmap - and some of the marine life they've verified.

1. DR STUART-SMITH and THE HOBART REDMAP TEAM (above) verify the hard-to-identify sightings around Australia. Redmap co-ordinator Dr Stuart-Smith receives these unusual cases and either identifies the species herself or asks the opinion of other scientists around the world.

Dr Stuart-Smith says this eyebrow perch (Hypoplectrodes spp), pictured above, was caught in SE Tasmania and is most likely the first recorded sighting of this species so far south. The fish was donated to the CSIRO in Hobart for further analysis. (Image: David Freeman)

2. ASSOC PROF NATALIE MOLTSCHANIWSKYJ is a marine biologist and one of Redmap NSW's top verification scientists. She is the Director of Fisheries Research at the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Assoc Prof Moltschaniwskyj's verified sightings include the Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus), pictured above, which was out of its usual range near Wollongong NSW. (Image: Cheyne Ramsay)

A stout moray (Gymnothorax eurostus) spotted north of Port Macquarie. (Image: Ian Shaw)

3. DR DAVID HARASTI is an avid diver and marine biologist at the NSW Department of Primary Industries. He verifies many rare or hard-to-ID sightings in NSW like this sea horse and triggerfish:

Dr Harasti verified this photo above of a rarely-spotted White's Seahorse (Hippocampus whitei) near Port Macquarie NSW. (Image: Gina Mascord)

Dr Harasti says the tropical Hawaiian Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), above, is unusual near Sydney. This is just a baby one! (Image: Derrick Cruz)

4. ANDREW PENDER is a mad-keen fisher who works at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) in Hobart. He has been verifying sightings ever since Redmap began in Tasmania way back in 2009!

Mr Pender says the 7kg snapper (Chrysophrys auratus) caught near Hobart, pictured above, was well south of its usual range. (Image: Jonah Yick)

Mr Pender says this venemous and tropical yellow-bellied seasnake (Pelamis platurus), hiding in the photo above among the seaweeed, was a surprise find on the east coast of Tasmania! (Image: Andrea Turbett)

5. DR DIANNE BRAY is a diver, fish-identification expert and Senior Collections Manager at Museum Victoria. She reviews nearly all the marine sightings submitted to Redmap in Victoria.

Dr Bray urges Victorians to log the striking Whitebarred boxfish (Anoplocapros lenticularis), above, whenever spotted in Victorian waters to gather a better picture of its distribution. (Image: James Cini)

Dr Bray notes it's unusual for the elusive deep-sea giant squid (Architeuthis) to wash up on a beach in Victoria! The photo above was snapped off the coast of Orbost. The fishing rod in the photo is about 180cm long. (Image: Craig Mills)

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