NEKTON LECTURE AT THE RGS
On 21st October we gave a talk at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society in London on First Descent Seychelles.
Speakers at the event included Dr. Lucy Woodall - Principal scientist of Nekton, Sheena Talma - Seychellois Marine Biologist and Oliver Steeds - Mission director and CEO of Nekton. Initial scientific observations regarding seabed surveys and the interconnectivity between shallow-water reefs and deeper habitats were outlined and discussed by Dr Lucy Woodall. Sheena Talma gave a thoughtful and emotive talk regarding her experience on the Nekton research ship and her experience of collecting samples in a submersible. Oliver Steeds gave a full rundown of the pioneering technology and equipment gathered together by the small research charity through partners to make the expedition possible, and the technical challenges that at times resembled controlling the Bolshoi ballet on strings which was required to stream live to the world from under the ocean
An audience of 650 packed the lecture hall to hear the lecture alongside President Danny Faure of Seychelles who was also a surprise guest speaker. The president has worked closely with Nekton during the past year and visited the research ship during the expedition to giving the first live subsea presidential address regarding climate change from a submersible. After visiting Nekton HQ in Oxford the previous Friday to see the scientist’s progress on the samples and seabed surveys he was incredibly excited by the progress of the team. Other notable attendees include Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, Commonwealth secretary-general and H.E. Mr. Derick Ally, Ambassador of the Republic of Seychelles.
PRESIDENT DANNY FAURE OF SEYCHELLES VISIT TO NEKTON HQ
We were delighted to welcome President Danny Faure in our lab and office in Oxford on Friday 18th October. He met the whole Nekton team and was told about our ongoing research from our expedition to Seychelles. He examined some of the samples and was shown the first 3D maps of the seabeds of the islands. He also met with Seychellois scientist Sheen Talma who is currently carrying out research in Nekton's labs.
NEW SCIENTISTS IN THE NEKTON LAB
Nico Fassbender has joined Nekton today working as Research Assistant. Before moving to Oxford Nico worked as a science officer for the conservation charity Global Vision International in Seychelles. Originally from Monchengladbach in Germany, Nico studied Marine Biology and Zoology at Bangor University in Wales. In spring 2019 he was a member of Nekton’s science team on our expedition in Seychelles and is delighted to have joined us in Oxford.
Sara Winter is working as an intern in our Oxford lab. She recently finished her masters in marine biology at James Cook University after studying at Zurich University. She will be with Nekton for three months and is currently busy analysing the video data from Seychelles.
TELEDYNE MARINE TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP, SAN DIEGO
Mission Director Oliver Steeds gave the keynote speech at our technology partner, Teledyne Marine's Technology event in San Diego on 7th October 2019. Our Seychelles expedition would not have been possible without the "sea of solutions" provided by Teledyne that enabled us to carry out our vital science research. Their technological solutions were key to our science, safety and operations.
Technology & Broadcast: We are so proud and delighted that Associated Press has been awarded the prestigious IBC Innovation Award for their undersea reporting during our First Descent Mission in Seychelles. This technical award has innovative storytelling and creativity at its heart and was made possible thanks to the partnership between AP, Nekton, Sonarydyne, Live U and Inmarsat. This partnership helped to tell the story of the ocean in a profound new way and we are hugely grateful to our partners for their faith and commitment to pioneering live submersible broadcasting.
SEYCHELLES MISSION - BUILDING A LEGACY
A key part of our mission and partnership with the Government of Seychelles is to develop the skills, knowledge and networks within marine science and ocean management. The Nekton team are leading a training workshop in Seychelles from 23th to 27th of September that will include video transects, data analysis, ocean literacy and media skills, scientific writing, publication and sample curation.
NEKTON ON THE WORLD STAGE
From the Global Exploration Summit in Lisbon to WEF Africa in Cape Town and from the NYC Explorers Clubto the FT Weekend Festival, the Do Lectures, the Commonwealth ICT & Innovation Summit and London’s Science Museum it has been a busy few months for Mission Director Oliver Steeds and Principal Scientist Lucy Woodall as they have travelled the world to share word about the discoveries and successes of the Seychelles Mission and the need to protect at least 30% of our ocean by 2030. Keep an eye for upcoming talks and events including a prestigious lecture at the Royal Geographical Society on 21stOctoberand with our partners Teledyne Marine in San Diego, London Shipping Week with Inmarsat and the Marine Measurement Forum with Sonardyne.
SEYCHELLES MISSION - ACCELERATING DATA ANALYSIS
To accelerate analysis and publication, we've gathered experts together for a 2-week long taxonomic workshop in Grahamstown at the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity to identify organisms that were collected during our field operations. The second week was devoted to training the next generation of early career researchers to taxonomy. The workshop in numbers:
- 23 people (13 experts + 10 trainees) participated either physically present or remotely
- 9 lectures were given (including five remotely via skype)
- 4 hands-on practical sessions IDying soft corals, sponges, brittle stars and hydrozoans
- 16 institutes involved so far with 4 more that are going to be involved post-workshop
OXFORD FELLOWSHIPS FOR SEYCHELLOIS SCIENTISTS
We're delighted to have welcomed the recipients of the AfOx-Nekton Marine Science Fellowships at Oxford over the summer. In partnership with Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) and the Africa Oxford Initiative (AfOx), scientists from Seychelles have been in Oxford conducting ongoing research and analysis from the Seychelles Expedition.