The inaugural Australian Geographic Expedition, hosted by the Chair of the Australian Geographic Society, Jo Runciman, and CSIRO scientists, Andreas Zwick and Bryan Lessard (aka Bryan the Fly Guy), took place in October 2016 on spectacular Lord Howe Island. Twenty ‘citizen scientists’ joined the expedition for a kind of working holiday, spending their days exploring, catching and classifying insects from all over the island. Evenings were spent relaxing with a glass of wine, gourmet 4 course dinner and cosy king bed at Pinetrees Lodge - TripAdvisor's No.1 Hotel in Australia for 2017.
The Expedition set out to better understand Lord Howe Island’s insect diversity with the ultimate goal of discovering a new species. Over five days and nights, the citizen scientists explored every corner of Lord Howe Island with activities such as moth surveys in Stevens Reserve and Rocky Run, seabird surveys at North Bay and clownfish surveys in the pristine lagoon. The serious adventure resulted in weary legs, sunburn, a few scratches, and incredible memories for all. Approximately 150 moth species were collected and two new species of soldier fly were discovered, one found in the Pinetrees organic garden! The 2017 Expedition starts on 15 October and will continue to study and collect insects in the untouched World Heritage listed environment.