From Aquariums to Discoveries

Have you visited an aquarium lately? Did you wonder where all those fish come from?

Those dazzling fish on display are important ambassadors for education and conservation, inspiring young and old to love and protect the aquatic world. Now, Ocean Genome Legacy is bringing these fantastic and diverse aquarium species into our biorepository, where they can inspire scientists and discoveries, too.

To sample this exotic diversity, OGL is collaborating with Cairns Marine, Australia’s largest supplier of marine life for aquariums and a leader in coral reef stewardship. Cairns Marine sustainably collects, cares for, and provides an amazing array of marine species for public aquariums worldwide. Their dedicated animal caretakers, including Curator Laura Simmons and Husbandry Supervisor Dave Furner, donated over 200 samples to the OGL biorepository, helping to protect the Great Barrier Reef’s genetic treasures and make them available for scientific discoveries.

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The purple-lined fairy wrasse (top) and longfin anthias (middle) are some of 47 Australian species donated by Cairns Marine (bottom) to the OGL biorepository. Photo credits: Cairns Marine.

If you’re lucky enough to swim in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, you’ll find a rainbow of diversity. Angelfish, clownfish, and wrasses dart among the corals. Schools of jewel-toned anthias glide overhead. Stealthy camouflaged wobbegong sharks hide below. These fish are not only beautiful, but their genetic material is important, too. Their DNA helps scientists understand what makes each species unique, how they cope and survive in the wild, and how we can best protect these and other species of the sea.

Thanks to OGL’s partnership with Cairns Marine, these precious genetic samples will inspire and delight scientists and educators around the world.

The OGL biorepository is working with researchers from around the globe to preserve and make available these valuable DNA samples that may someday lead to new cures, bio-inspired products, and other discoveries. If you would like to support our efforts, please consider making a gift.

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