A Year of Coraling and Coralling

International Year of the Reef

The Aquarium at the Horniman Museum and Gardens dates back, in one form or another, to the early 1900s. In more recent times the Aquarium has been home to Project Coral; where pioneering research is being undertaken in coral spawning. The project team, led by Aquarium Curator Jamie Craggs, is successfully developing in-vitro fertilisation techniques for captive corals and they have instigated the first successful spawning of captive coral in the world. Their research will further scientific understanding of the impact of climate change on coral reproduction and has potential to serve as a method of restoring damaged coral reefs.

Coral spawning taking place at the Horniman Museum Aquarium, as part of ongoing research by Project Coral under lead scientist Jamie Craggs. © Horniman Museum and Gardens and Jamie Craggs

Being the home of such an important coral conservation project made it an obvious thing to do to get involved with International Year of the Reef. 2018 marks the third IYOR (International Year of the Reef), and to celebrate it, the Horniman Museum is hosting a year of special events, exhibitions, online content and family activities to highlight both Project Coral, and the ongoing plight of coral reefs around the world. As Project Coordinator of the IYOR programme at the Horniman, my role was to help set up and run six projects devised by a team of collaborators. The project was extremely multidisciplinary; utilising the natural history collections, the live aquarium exhibits, art installations, dance performances, and collaborating with external researchers from around the world.

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NatSCA Digital Digest

(Image by Ton Rulkens, in public domain)

(Image by Ton Rulkens, public domain)

 

Your weekly round-up of news and events happening in the world of natural sciences

News

The BBC just posted a down to earth (or sea) article called The man who swims with sharks, by Melissa Hogenboom, feature writer for BBC Earth. Combined with beautiful images, it talks about swimming with and photographing sharks and summarises some very interesting facts about these majestic animals.

Exhibitions

If you haven’t seen the Natural History Museums’ exhibition Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea, you should definitely go this weekend. If you have seen the Natural History Museums’ exhibition Coral Reefs: Secret Cities of the Sea, you should definitely go this weekend. It will be your last opportunity to see (or re-see) the exhibition as it closes on the 13th September. There are fantastic specimens, cool interactive games and a video of the only coral spawning ever to have occurred in captivity. I personally recommend it to you.

Opened just last week is the new exhibition In the Footsteps of Elephants. This two and a half week exhibition is only open from the 3rd to the 20th September, so if it’s up your street you need to get a wriggle on. The exhibition is being held at the Nature in Art Museum and Gallery in Gloucestershire, which looks really worth too.

Jobs

If you are looking to move, or move into a, role in natural sciences the Naturejobs Career Expo in London on Friday 18th September should be a great place to meet others in the field, attend workshops and conference talks, schmooze with potential employers, and even get your CV looked at.

If Brachiopods are your thing, then the Natural History Museum in London is currently looking for a curatorial assistant to join them in the Earth Sciences Department. The contract is for a year, and the deadline is the 14th September. Sounds like a shell of a good opportunity (!)

As ever, if you would like to write a blog for NatSCA on anything natural sciences related, give us an online shout blog@natsca.org.