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

Where the wild things are: Antarctic seafloor biodiversity

It’s an exciting time as the third Seabed Habitats seminar entitled “Where the wild things are- Antarctic Seafloor Biodiversity” by Dr Huw Griffiths of the British Antarctic Survey, is happening on Tuesday 23rd February at 1300 GMT. Dr Huw Griffiths is a marine biogeographer with an interest in the Polar Regions and a passionate believer in science communication and making science more accessible to the public, policy makers and government. In 2020, Dr Huw Griffiths was awarded Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Medal for Education and Communication. Please save the date and join us to discover the unknown!! Sign up with your name and email to receive occasional updates about this seminar and future seminars in the series. Your email will only be used for this purpose.

Ecology of Sand Dunes of East Coast of India

Indian marine biologist Prof. M Srinivasan, Director of Centre for Advanced Study in Marine Biology in Tamil Nadu, India gave the second webinar of the Seabed Habitats Seminar Series! He discussed the importance of sand dunes (and mangroves) for coastal protection along the south Indian coast (against storm waves and the Indian ocean tsunami), sand dune formation and classification, dune vegetation (including its medicinal values), the increasing amounts of anthropogenic impacts affecting different types of dunes and valuable tips for management. A fascinating insight into the applied coastal research at one of the oldest marine institutes in India. We would like to cordially thank Prof. Srinivasan for giving this seminar and further increasing public awareness of sand dunes and their conservation.

Two February Seminars: Sand Dunes of India and Antarctic Seafloor Biodiversity

In February, am pleased to invite you to two webinars as part of the Seabed Habitats seminar series next month!

On Tuesday 9th February at 13.00 GMT, Prof. M Srinivasan, will be giving a talk entitled “Sand Dunes of East Coast of India.” Prof. Srinivasan is the Professor, Director and Dean of the Centre for Advanced Study of Marine Biology at Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, India. The Centre specialises in research on mangroves and is a reputed marine institute in India, actively engaged in teaching, research and extension activities in marine sciences. I had the opportunity to visit the centre and meet Prof. Srinivasan when my family and I visited the Mangroves of Pichavaram whilst touring in Tamil Nadu.

Where the wild things are- Antarctic seafloor biodiversity

From Tamil Nadu to Antarctica, on February 23rd 1300 GMT, Dr Huw Griffiths of the British Antarctic Survey will be giving a talk about “ Where the wild things are- Antarctic seafloor biodiversity.” Dr Huw Griffiths is a marine biogeographer with an interest in the Polar Regions and a passionate believer in science communication and making science more accessible to the public, policy makers and government. In 2020, Dr Huw Griffiths was awarded Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Medal for Education and Communication.

There will be an opportunity for Q&A and discussion after the event!

So please sign up here and hope to see you next month!