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If Blue Planet left you wanting more, this is the night for you! Apart from learning about the amazing creatures that you can find in the ocean, such as sharks and hermit crabs, this night will feature talks about how we are polluting the oceans with microplastics and sunscreen and what can be done about it.
The Availability of Homes for Hermit Crabs
Eleni Christoforou (Student)
Hermit crabs’ rear half of the body is soft and therefore require the protection of a shell for their survival. The search for a shell is a lifelong struggle as their own can be overgrown, damaged or stolen. A Mediterranean and a Pacific Ocean species were studied comparing their populations in the wild, how well their shell fit their body size and their response when they were placed in aquariums in the laboratory to test if they exchange their current shell for a better one. We found that the crabs exchanged shells in the occasion where hermit crabs were sparsely populated in the wild.
British Sharks: When, Where, and Who?
Mr. Jack Hollins (PhD Researcher, University of Glasgow)
We’re all familiar with reef sharks in crystal clear waters in the Bahamas and massive shoals of hammerheads cruising the Galapagos. Closer to home, smoothounds, dogfish, and spurdogs are frequent encounters on the British Coast, but is that all the shark life the UK has to offer? From the fastest shark in the ocean, to massive plankton-grazers, the UK hosts over 40 sharks species, each with unique behaviours, hunting strategies and lifestyles. This talk will explore what makes these species so well adapted to our waters, and when and where you may be lucky enough to find them.
What Comes Out in the Wash? The story of an Ignored Plastic Pollutant.
Ms. Charlotte Young (Postgraduate Researcher)
Clean sheets, crisp shirts, odd socks; these are all the usual things to come out of the wash. But whilst you relish Lenor’s blossom romance and that all so clean feeling, a very small form of plastic pollution makes its way down the drain; unmitigated, unmanaged and unmonitored. This type of plastic pollution is termed ‘microfibers’. Despite the recent political and public awakening surrounding marine plastic pollution, microfibers are still being ignored. So come and discover the true nature of what comes out in the wash and learn about what’s being done to beat it.
Slip Slap Stop: Why we should all Just Stay Inside
Ms. Lucy Cotgrove (Postgraduate Researcher)
This talk will explore the darker side of sunscreen, focusing on the implications on fish and how sunscreens affect marine ecosystems.