CAPSTAN sea training voyage 02

Providing at-sea training to help build Australia’s future generation of marine experts.
Voyage No


29 Apr, 2019


09 May, 2019




Chief Scientist

Dr Leah Moore


University of Canberra

Voyage summary

Transit voyage from Hobart to Fremantle to relocate the vessel in preparation for IN2019_V03. The transit will be used to support the CAPSTAN (Collaborative Australian Postgraduate Sea-training Alliance Network) sea training program.

This is the second CAPSTAN voyage, following on from the inaugural voyage in November 2017. The program is being administered by Macquarie University and is being supported by a commitment of sea time on RV Investigator by the Marine National Facility. The voyage will give 27 postgraduate students and trainers direct experience with the equipment, systems and techniques on board a modern research vessel, as well as the opportunity to experience life at sea.

Find out more about CAPSTAN.

The study area will be the Great Australian Bight, specifically the Bonney Upwelling Region. This is a high productivity marine region and is one of only two known blue whale feeding grounds in Australian waters. This voyage will see a cross-disciplinary science program delivered including sediment coring, CTDs, plankton tows, marine mammal and bird observation, hydrochemistry, and underwater camera tows. Science communication is also a focus.

The second CAPSTAN voyage includes 18 students and 9 trainers from 16 Australian universities, with all states and territories represented.

Voyage outcomes

CAPSTAN offers an important contribution towards building Australia’s future generations of marine experts, and sustaining Australia's 'Blue Economy'.

In addition to educational outcomes, this voyage delivered real world research and enabled the collection of unique, multidisciplinary data from a remote Australian coastal region. These data are a valuable resource for increasing our understanding of Australia’s marine environment. 

As a result of this voyage, researchers have:

  1. Provided valuable training for 18 postgraduate students (including honours students) in marine data collection and scientific research
  2. Increased understanding of the bathymetry and sub-bottom profile of the Discovery Bay Canyon
  3. Increased understanding of the plankton ecology, oceanographic processes, and marine bird and mammal activity that occurs when the Bonney Upwelling is not active
  4. Improved understanding of the sedimentological processes occurring in Discovery Bay Canyon over the past ~80,000 years
  5. Mapped the Discovery Bay Canyon to its full extent (165 km), as well as the associated poorly developed fan, to a depth of over 4500 m.