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The University of Southampton

Bringing ocean science to Southampton Boat Show

The University of Southampton was once again at the Southampton Boat Show in 2018, the largest commercial marine event of its kind in 2018 and a fantastic event for the local region.

This year the Boat Show highlighted plastic pollution in our oceans. Our mission as a University is to ‘Change the world for the better’. As world-leading experts in marine, Earth and environmental science one of the many ways we are implementing this mission is by exploring the secrets of our blue planet and researching the impact of plastics in our oceans.

At the Boat Show you could get hands on with marine science and find out how our research into plastics is changing the world.

Plastic pollution is a complex global issue which requires an interdisciplinary response from a range of experts, with the skills to understand the problem and find solutions. The University of Southampton is a world leader in marine and environmental science, and engineering, so is well-equipped to tackle the challenges it brings.

Learn more about what we do

Protecting our oceans

Dr Malcolm Hudson, Director of plastic pollution research at the University of Southampton, highlights the global challenges of plastic pollution.

Explore more research

From source to sea

Explore the journey of plastic from source to sea and find out how you can help to protect the future health of our oceans.

Learn more
Plastic bottle on a beach

Our plastics research

Academics from many disciplines across the University, from medicine, to engineering, to marine sciences, are working together to tackle the world's plastic pollution problem. Learn more about this research.

BBC Blue Planet seal under water

Our BBC Blue Planet research

Some of our academics were scientific advisors on the latest BBC Blue Planet series. Learn more about our oceans by exploring the research that informed the series.

Deep sea marine life

Take our free online course

Our free 'Exploring our Oceans' online course runs over four weeks and allows you to explore ocean currents, biodiversity, the deep ocean and our human impact. Sign up now.

Top tips for reducing plastic waste

What could you do at our Boat Show stands?

Visit the Science of the Sea Experience

The rock pool at last year's Boat Show
The rock pool at last year's Boat Show

Our Science of the Sea Experience (stand E030) included a number of exhibits including a shallow rock pool and films about our relationships with plastics and how we can work together to protect the future health of our oceans.

In this marine discovery zone you could learn more about our blue planet, what lives within it and how you can help to keep our oceans healthy by reducing plastic waste. Our experts were standing by to answer your questions.

Marine Science chatter daily at 3pm:

Every day, scientists from the University of Southampton talked ‘science’ outside the Ocean Experience Exhibition. They talked about everything from micro plastics in everyday household items, to our marine research expeditions to the Arctic. These were great, accessible science talks. This was the talk schedule:

This is just some of the marine life you could find in our shallow rock pool at the Boat Show.

All these creatures can be found just offshore in UK coastal waters and they could all be threatened because of marine plastic pollution.

Gobby Fish
Gobby Fish
Common Starfish
Common Starfish
Goldsinny Wrasse
Goldsinny Wrasse
Hermit Crab
Hermit Crab
Snakelocks Anemone
Snakelocks Anemone
Blenny Wrasse
Blenny Wrasse

Climb aboard our research vessel

The University's research vessel, Callista
The University's research vessel, Callista

Our research vessel, Callista, was a feature berth in the main Boat Show marina (Berth M455). You could come on board and have a tour. There was a remote autonomous vehicle (ROV) in the water filming under the boat and you could to see footage from around the world that has been captured using our ROV.

View our art installation

Jilly Evans standing next to her art installation.
Jilly Evans with her 'Wave' installation

At the Boat Show we displayed a 'Wave' sculpture, made from plastic that had been picked up in Empress Docks, Southampton, by our students during the Spring of 2018.

The sculpture was made by our alumna Jilly Evans and highlights the fact that the problem of plastics in our oceans is both a global and a local issue.

Learn more about the artist and this sculpture.

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