3 June 2016 – Capturing our Coast: Empowering citizens to do extraordinary science on spectacular shores
Speakers: Dr Katrin Bohn and Ms Abbi Scott –
Capturing our Coast (‘CoCoast’) is a new marine citizen science project in which members of the public and scientists work together to collect information on a variety of marine species along our stunning UK coasts. Co-ordinated by Newcastle University and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, various hubs across the UK aim to train, inspire and support anyone with a passion for the marine environment to record the diversity and distribution of the plants and animals that live in our coastal waters. Portsmouth University is the local hub for the South and South East coast and has so far trained more than 250 citizen scientists who are surveying the coasts of Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and even Kent and Essex as part of this 3-year project.
In this talk Katrin and Abbi will discuss the important contribution of citizen science to ecological research, and how marine research in particular will benefit from projects such as CoCoast. As part of CoCoast, 2000 people from all over the UK will, together with scientists, study the spread of invasive species like the wireweed Sargassum muticum and the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata, or the effects of climate change on populations of snails, barnacles and limpets alike. It is a unique opportunity for both scientists and members of the public: not only does it allow scientists to work with a large network of citizen scientists to increase our understanding of how UK shores are responding to environmental change, but it also presents opportunities to raise awareness of marine science and pass on enthusiasm for marine environments.
CoCoast in the South East is led and organised by project officer Dr Katrin Bohn and field assistant Abbi Scott, based at the Institute in Marine Science of Portsmouth University.
Katrin obtained her first degree in ‘Geo-Ecology’ from the University of Potsdam in Germany followed by a PhD at Bangor University. She then undertook a PostDoc at the University of Southampton, pursuing her research interest of studying the ecology of natural and artificial rocky shores, amongst other roles.
Abbi graduated from an MSci in Marine Biology from the University of Southampton in 2013. She was then working as the Assistant Marine Officer for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust coordinating Shoresearch, until taking up her role in CoCoast.
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