14 June 2012
Staff from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology recently took their research into the fascinating underwater life at the Albert Dock to the public.
At this 'Dockwatch' event, which was organised by the Merseyside Maritime Museum and supported by LJMU and the World Museum's popular Aquarium, people were able to see the artificial reef along the dock walls through a live underwater camera. This allowed for a closer look at the creatures which inhabit the Dock and giving an insight into its unique ecosystem.
Dr Simone Dürr, LJMU Lecturer in Marine Biology said:
"We use this camera for our research on biofouling (algae and sessile animals on artificial surfaces in the ocean), but we thought it would be a great opportunity to boost public knowledge of what exactly is in the dock waters. People could see blue mussels, colourful seasquirts, algae, sticklebacks, shrimps and the famous conger eels, which can easily reach 1.5 metres in the Docks.
"The Albert Dock is also an ideal location for us to work on antifouling as it provides easy access to a highly diverse biofouling community. Our research concerns how to stop biofouling on ships as this increases the surface roughness of the ship hull and through this the resistance or 'drag'. The ship therefore needs more diesel to reach the same speed, which increases the Carbon footprint."
Dr Simone Dürr and Sheelagh Conlan will be presenting their latest research at the 16th International Congress on Marine Corrosion and Fouling (ICMCF) in Seattle later this month: http://www.icmcf.org/Home.html
Pictured (top right): Camera set up - underwater video set up and part of the Dock Watch Team: Joyce Parr (The Maritime Museum/The Border Agencies National Museum), Paul Tyson (World Museum Liverpool), Sheelagh Conlan (LJMU), volunteer and Dr Simone Dürr (LJMU
(top left): Life in Albert Dock: Filter-feeding blue mussels and seasquirts as well as algae
(right): Touch and Feel aquaria