Marine Life Talk – 2 February 2012


Why are corals colourful? by Ed Smith – 19.30pm at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton

Corals are renowned for their spectacular colouration. The proteins responsible for this vivid pigmentation are found in most shallow water corals and provide hues ranging from blue to green to red.

Theories about the function of these proteins date back to the early part of the last century, however, their function remains unclear. This talk will explore key questions relating to coral pigmentation: What makes corals colourful? Why is it important? What function do the pigment proteins perform? And, what can these pigments tell us about coral health?

Ed Smith is a 4th year PhD student from the University of Southampton and is based in the Coral Reef Laboratory at the National Oceanography Centre. His research focuses on elucidating the function of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like proteins in reef building corals and the applications of these proteins to reef monitoring. He has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology with Oceanography from the University of Southampton and a MSc in Remote Sensing from University College London.

Future Marine Life Talks at the National Oceanography Centre

01/03/12 Ecosystem effects of deep-water oil well blowouts – Charlie Main

05/04/12 t.b.c.

03/05/12 Solent Aliens – Moira Maclean

Recordings of previous talks can be found on YouTube:

December 2011 – Mysteries of ageing in the marine environment by Dr Joel Parker

January 2012 – European Sea Bass: how do we restore UK stocks and why bother? by Nigel Horsman:

Free admission – these talks are open to the public – please sign-in outside the Lecture Theatre upstairs on Level 4.

The Marine Life Talks are held on the first Thursday of the month at 7.30pm, please arrive at 7.15pm.

The talks are accessible via stairs or a lift. Since the lift cannot be used in an emergency, evacuation of less able visitors is down the stairs via an evacuation chair. You are therefore required to notify us in advance of the presence of a wheelchair user or anyone with access issues likely to require use of an evacuation chair.

The National Oceanography Centre is reached via Dock Gate 4 (between Southampton’s Town Quay and Ocean Village).

Event dates: 
Thursday 2 February 2012 - 19:15 to 20:30