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Join us as we explore two wildly different places on Earth! The deep sea is the largest ecosystem on our planet, covering 60 percent of Earth’s surface. However, exploration and research has barely scratched the surface of its diverse and extraordinarily different inhabitants. In the desert, conditions are as far as can be from the deep sea, yet are equally hostile: temperatures soar, and water is rare. In these wildly contrasting environments, bizarre animals and peculiar plants thrive using weapons, camouflage, strategy, and engineering, which enable them to survive in habitats where we cann...
Life in the Twilight Zone
Fishes have been found at depths of 8000m, but some of the most interesting and dramatic adaptations occur between 200 and 1000m, an area where little sunlight arrives also known as the twilight zone. This talk will introduce the audience to the fish inhabiting this space, discussing their adaptations and why they have them. We will also talk about fishes found deeper particularly the deep-sea anglerfish and about the interesting fishes of the South Atlantic and my research on them.
So Much More than a Houseplant: Desert Adaptations in Succulent Plants
Succulent plants are enjoying tremendous popularity as houseplants. The remarkable features for which they are loved – curious shapes, textures and colours – are ecologically functional adaptations to harsh habitats in which they grow naturally. Succulents evolved a reservoir of water millions of years ago to sustain photosynthesis in desert conditions. Beyond their decorative beauty, the adaptations in succulent plants could become increasingly valuable to deal with climate change in hot, dry conditions – providing the rare and threatened species have been adequately conserved.