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Join us as we explore the challenges faced by marine life, from UK coasts where whale and dolphin strandings are frequent to the deep sea where life thrives in this dark, hostile environment.
CSI of the Sea – what can we learn from strandings around the UK coast?
Mr Rob Deaville (Cetologist, Zoological Society of London)
For centuries, cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) have stranded around the UK coast. But the underlying reasons for these stranding events and the role that our activities may have played in driving them has sometimes been unclear. Tonight I’ll talk about the work of the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme and what its research over the last 25 years has revealed about the threats these species face, including accidental entanglement in fishing gear, interspecific aggression and the potential impacts of chemical, noise and plastic pollution. Note: may contain gory images.
Visions of the deep; light and life in the deep ocean
Professor Ron Douglas ( Professor at the Department of Optometry & Visual Science, City University London.)
The deep ocean (anything below 200m) accounts for over 99% of habitable space on the planet, yet we know comparatively little about it because it is relatively inaccessible. This talk will describe how we investigate this hostile environment, introduce some of the creatures that live there and discuss their often strange feeding and sexual behaviour. Although sunlight is absent at most depths in the ocean, the majority of animals produce their own light. The functions and detection of such bioluminescence will also be examined in detail.