World Ocean Day Seminar on cold water corals

This Tuesday June 8th at 1300 BST for World Ocean Day, Dr Aaron Lim of Green Rebel Marine will be giving a seminar on “Mapping and monitoring cold water coral habitats offshore Ireland. The talk will introduce cold water corals habitats, how we map and image them, how we monitor them and some recent findings from offshore Ireland. We have wanted to organise an event about cold water corals for a while on this blog so this is particularly exciting for this year’s World Ocean Day! Don’t miss it- register below for occasional updates and zoom link.

Tales from a small aquarium

Today our seminar series recommenced with a seminar by Dr Noirin Burke of the Galway Atlantaquaria in Galway, Republic of Ireland. Noirin emphasized the importance of a small aquarium with a BIG impact- taking part in collaboration with numerous organisations- from doing beach cleans to wellbeing and yoga events to outreach events with Marmo the octopus! Animal rehabilitation and educational role of the aquarium are all important in helping improve the ocean literacy. With different programmes such as the Inishbofin Summer School and “The real map of Ireland” about ocean exploration. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the state of our environment, but through collaboration with schools, the mission to create an ocean literate society in Ireland can be achieved. Noirin went on to talk about ocean literacy and the 7 principles of ocean literacy. A big thank you to Noirin for sharing her experiences and enthusiasm for all things marine and the importance of ocean literacy for society today as well as in the future.

Ocean literacy is an understanding of the ocean’s influence on you and your influence on the ocean.

-Noirin Burke

Resources

European Marine Science Educators Association EMSEA

Explorers.ie

Irish Ocean Literacy Network

UNESCO Ocean Literacy

UNESCO Training on Ocean Literacy

Ocean literacy: Tales from a small aquarium

Pleased to announce that the next Seabed Habitats Seminar on Tuesday 25th May at 1300 BST will be by Dr Nóirín Burke of the Galway Atlantaquaria on “Ocean Literacy; and its role in a sustainable ocean. Tales from a Small Aquarium.”

Dr, Noirin Burke, is the Director of Education at Galway Atlantaquaria, a native species aquarium, on the West coast of Ireland. In her role, Noirin has been involved in ocean literacy education, both formal and informal for over 10 years. In this talk, she will provide an introduction to Ocean Literacy, and the seven ocean literacy principles. The concept of an ocean literacy society will be explored, along with tools for sharing and evaluation and tips for engaging.

The webinar will take place on Zoom link available by email. Please sign up below or email seabedhabitats@gmail.com!

Seagrass: The forgotten posterchild of UK marine life by Georgie Bull

The fourth seabed habitats seminar took place today by Georgie Bull, Underwater photographer, commercial and recreational diver, and student of Marine Biology and Ecology at University of Plymouth. Georgie recently won the award as the British and Irish Underwater champion in 2020. Seagrasses are complex and valuable ecosystems and are true plants, differing from algae in the tree of life. These flowering plants are important habitats in the UK for seahorses, nursery areas for species of fish including the Atlantic cod and invertebrates (as well as manatees, dugongs and sea turtles internationally). Seagrasses have an ecosystem services importance. What do seagrass offer us as humans?

“Personal experience of marine environments has been found to be important for developing interest and supporting conservation.”

-Georgie Bull

Georgie then discussed the public perception of seagrass meadows and marine species in UK shores- and the public perception of the “seabed” and the importance of having a personal connection to marine habitats for effective conservation and their protection. A big thank you to Georgie for helping us build this connection to seagrass as a marine habitat in this wonderful and insightful seminar as part of Seagrass Awareness Month!

Seagrasses Seminar by Georgie Bull

This march is Seagrass Awareness Month so am pleased to announce the next seminar on Tuesday 30th March at 1300 BST on Seagrasses by Georgie Bull, an Underwater photographer and Diver and Marine Biology and Coastal Ecologist studying at University of Plymouth. Georgie has recently won the award- the British and Irish Underwater Photography Champion for 2020. Georgie is very passionate about marine conservation and a seagrass enthusiast. Note the time is now in British Summer Time (BST) in the UK and may affect the time zone differences for international participants.

Register to sign up for the webinar below and to receive occasional updates about the seminar series. Your email will only be used for this purpose.

Where the wild things are- Antarctic Seafloor Biodiversity by Dr Huw Griffiths

From burrowing worms to sea lemons to twelve-legged sea spiders to life underneath the ice shelf – the Antarctic seafloor is the most biodiverse in the world, with over 20 000 species living in the region!! Today, in the third webinar of the Seabed Habitats Seminar Series, Dr Huw Griffiths of the British Antarctic Survey gave a wonderful talk and discussion on the vast range of organisms living at the seabed around Antarctica. The team’s recent discovery of the first hard substrate sessile community beneath the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, situated on the South Eastern Weddell Sea, breaks all the rules of where scientists thought such life could exist (see the webinar and full Griffiths et al. 2021 paper)! A gigantic thank you to Huw for sharing his research and insights into studying the seabed of Antarctica as part of this webinar! The Antarctic seafloor is a very exciting place to work!!

Thank you to all attendees for signing up and attending from many different time zones and your questions and participation!

Reference

Griffiths Huw J., Anker Paul, Linse Katrin, Maxwell Jamie, Post Alexandra L., Stevens Craig, Tulaczyk Slawek and Smith James A. (2021) Breaking All the Rules: The First Recorded Hard Substrate Sessile Benthic Community Far Beneath an Antarctic Ice Shelf, Frontiers in Marine Science Available at: https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2021.642040