Published: 19 June 2014

Ocean scientists reach out at the Mersey River Festival

Scientists on board the University of Liverpool’s research vessel, Marisa, reached out to the thousands of visitors who attended the International Mersey River Festival.

The Mersey River Festival is one of the key highlights in the city’s calendar and every year thousands of visitors flock to the waterfront to visit ships and enjoy a programme of events and performances.

This year the University’s research vessel, Marissa, and scientists and PhD students from the School of Environmental Sciences invited visitors aboard to study the science of the sea and get up close to some of the animals that live in the docks.

Jonathan Sharples, Professor of Ocean Sciences and head of the School’s outreach activities, said: “Nearly 1000 people visited Marissa over the Festival weekend and found out more about what was living in the seawater in the Canning dock, from jellyfish to microscopic marine creatures, and leant about the various instruments used by ocean scientists to collect data at sea.

Research vessel

Picture left shows Claire Mahaffey giving visitors a tour around the Marisa.

“Visitors – who came from all over the world and were of all ages – were most interested in the jellyfish and sponges which are found in the docks and also enjoyed looking at the zooplankton using the microscope.

“It was a great opportunity and tremendous fun for ocean researchers to share with visitors the enjoyment and excitement of studying the science of the sea.”

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