The many and varied ways that the marine environment can benefit human health and wellbeing will be the subject of an event at the University of Plymouth.
Academics researching antibiotics, dementia, psychology and social work will give presentations at the event, taking place at the University on Tuesday 24 April.
It will also feature the premiere of a new short film, A Boat, which uses a marine metaphor to help break down age and symptom clichés about dementia.
The interdisciplinary event has been curated by Dr Alexis Kirke, from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and supported by the University’s Marine Institute. It is co-funded by the Arts Institute.
The speakers on the night will include:
- Dr Mathew Upton, Associate Professor in Medical Microbiology, will talk about deep sea sponges and how they could be a new source of antibiotics;
- Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor in Psychology, will discuss research which showed that viewing aquarium displays leads to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate;
- Dr Andrew Wills, Lecturer in Social Work, will talk about using activity sailing trips to help vulnerable children and people recovering from drug addiction;
- Ian Sherriff, the University’s Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia, who will introduce A Boat, written and directed by Dr Kirke.
Dr Nicholas Higgs, Deputy Director of the Marine Institute, said:
“Fish or coral reefs are probably the first things that come to mind when we think about the sea, but the marine environment provides many other benefits to society that are often overlooked. The sea is a therapeutic recreation ground, a spiritual place and even a source of new biotechnology.”
Dr Kirke, the Marine Institute’s Composer-in-Residence, added:
“This event is aimed at showing the many different ways that we humans depend on the sea and how the University is working to better understand this relationship. It demonstrates the oceans, and the wildlife living within them, can make a positive contribution right across our society.”
The University’s Marine Institute represents 3,000 staff, researchers and students, and is the first and largest such institute in the UK.
It provides a portal to the University’s extensive pool of world-leading experts and state-of-the-art facilities, integrating multidisciplinary expertise in marine and maritime research, education and innovation to train the scientists, engineers, policy-makers, artists, technicians and business managers of the future.The event will start at 6pm on Tuesday 24 April, and is taking place in the Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building.