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To date, less than 5% of the oceans has been explored, and therefore much remains to be learned about the mysteries within its depths. Come and join us on a deep dive into the marine environment of Planet Earth. Please note that this event takes places on the first floor and is not accessible for those with impaired mobility.
The Ocean in Motion: The Past and Climate Change
The world’s oceans play a central role in the regulation of our climate, and changes in their physical circulation and chemistry are thought to have been key in driving climatic changes in the recent geological past. In this talk, I will share some of the techniques we use to reconstruct how the oceans once behaved and the impact these changes are thought to have had on the Earth's climate. (Remember The Day After Tomorrow, well that with some science added).
How Pulsing Currents Deep Beneath Iceland Sculpt the Surface We Live On
Hundreds of kilometres deep beneath the North Atlantic Ocean, hot rocks of the Earth's mantle upwell to form a gigantic mushroom-shaped plume. This plume is centred directly under Iceland. Since it is hot and light, this hot material pushes up the sea floor by several kilometres over a huge region that stretches from northern Canada to western Norway. Recent studies have shown that the Icelandic plume is not fixed. Instead, it appears to slowly pulse on time scales of a few million years. These movements have surprising and unexpected effects that I will divulge during my talk.
How busy are our seas?
The United Kingdom is an island, surrounded by some of the busiest seas in the world. With a continual need to exploit natural resources in order to support the economy, how can we balance this with protecting our marine environment, and meet international targets, whilst managing conflicts between sea users. This talk will look at the big picture and consider some of the key issues in sustainable development of our marine activities and the possibilities for their future management, including some novel applications of technology to provide supporting evidence in favour of sustainability.
Contests, Courtship and Crabs: How Crustaceans Communicate
When animals fight over resources they tend to avoid dangerous tactics and instead produce displays that can demonstrate their prowess without actually coming to blows. But what prevents cheating? In marine crustaceans, some fascinating displays have developed in both fighting and in courtship, which have now been shown to be linked to the stamina of the individual. In hermit crabs, aggressive displays demonstrate physical fitness, and in tropical fiddler crabs these displays can honestly reveal the qualities of males looking to attract mates.