RRS James Cook research takes biologist to Parliament

RRS James Cook

Rui Vieira an Ocean and Earth Science PhD student from University of Southampton specialising in deep-sea ecology, biological oceanography and fisheries is attending Parliament to present his research to a range of politicians and a panel of expert judges, as part of SET for Britain on Monday 7 March.

Rui’s poster on research about fisheries impact on deep-sea ecosystems will be judged against dozens of other scientists’ research in the only national competition of its kind. Rui was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants to appear in Parliament.

Dr Henry Ruhl, from the National Oceanography Centre commented “Rui’s research is examining the potential impacts of fishery trawling on vulnerable sponge habitats on the European continental slope. The data, which was collected aboard the RRS James Cook, can help underpin a scientifically robust position on fishery policy.”

On presenting his research in Parliament, he said, “science and society should, more than ever, be linked. SET for Britain is an excellent opportunity to bring our work to the society and policy-makers. I hope to contribute to change a bit the way we look at marine ecosystems, particularly the deep sea, which we still know very little about, but also to exchange some ideas with MPs about this issue.”

Stephen Metcalfe MP, Chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee, said “This annual competition is an important date in the parliamentary calendar because it gives MPs an opportunity to speak to a wide range of the country’s best young researchers. These early career engineers, mathematicians and scientists are the architects of our future and SET for Britain is politicians’ best opportunity to meet them and understand their work.”

The Parliamentary and Scientific Committee runs the event in collaboration with the Royal Society of Biology, the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Physics, The Physiological Society and the Council for Mathematical Sciences, with financial support from Essar, the Clay Mathematics Institute, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), the Institute of Biomedical Science, the Bank of England and the Society of Chemical Industry.