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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Boat Show visitors seize their opportunity to learn about our ‘blue planet’

Published: 21 September 2015

Visitors to the 2015 Southampton Boat Show packed out the University of Southampton’s ‘pop up aquarium’ stand to learn more about marine life along the south coast and further afield. Over ten days, around 30,000 people gazed in fascination at the rock pools and tanks, half containing local species such as starfish, crabs and anemones and the others holding more exotic species and corals from the Indo Pacific Region..

Sixty staff and students took turns to man the stand and answer countless questions from interested members of the public about the displays at the annual event in Mayflower Park in the city centre. Film of deep sea expeditions around volcanic vents gave insights into some of the cutting edge research underway by scientists based at the University’s Waterfront Campus. .

“We have taken our research vessel Callista to the Boat Show in the past but this time we wanted to showcase our work in oceanography and marine biology and give visitors an insight into what we do at the university ,” says Deputy Technical Superintendent Gary Fisher. “Some people stayed for a long time and long queues formed. Starfish, crabs and jellyfish were the most popular creatures and visitors loved seeing the corals fluorescing . Show organisers told us they were delighted we were so popular with visitors of all ages.”

Senior Research Assistant Moira MacLean was pleased that many visitors were keen to learn more about our ‘blue planet’: “We told them about our Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on Exploring our Oceans and how they can enrol for free and gain a unique insight into ocean sciences.”

Ocean and Earth Science staff manning the 'Pop'Up' aquarium
Ocean and Earth Science staff manning the 'Pop'Up' aquarium
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