UK. Students receive national awards for marine conservation research

Thursday, 14 January 2016

 

P1 Marine Foundation yesterday announced the winners of its 2015 National Student Awards which are supported by The Crown Estate, Marine Conservation Society and the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST). The overall winner, Alice McNeal, SIMarEST who is currently studying a Bsc in Biological Sciences at University of Exeter, was awarded the top prize for her ground-breaking project ‘Plankton eating plastic: worth worrying about?’ and will receive £1000 to further her research.

The Marine Conservation Society Wakefield Memorial Award went to Jack Emmerson, studying a PhD at Bangor University, for his project ‘Sustainable static-gear fisheries in the Irish Sea’. The runner up was Catherine Hinds, SIMarEST for her project ‘Using social media as an untapped resource for a photo-identification study of bottlenose dolphins’. She is currently studying a BSc Marine Biology at Queen’s University Belfast.

One of the judges from the judging panel, Dr Laura Foster, Marine Conservation Society Pollution Programme Manager said “It was really great to see breadth and innovation from students working on helping to conserve our oceans. The variety of projects awarded reflects the quality of the submissions and it is wonderful to see the next generation of marine conservationists.”

The Awards, which will be presented at a central London venue in February, were launched by P1 Marine Foundation in 2012 to reward students in higher education who produce outstanding work that will help to protect and conserve the marine environment. The ceremony will give the students the opportunity to showcase their projects to an audience of academics, business leaders and NGOs.

The runner up and the Wakefield Memorial Award winner will both receive £500, and the top prize will also feature in IMarEST’s (Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology) international industry publication, The Marine Professional, and a leading marine technical journal which reaches 16000 members.

Dr Bev MacKenzie, Technical and Policy Director, IMarEST said “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic initiative. Ultimately these projects will contribute towards the next generation of marine research”.

“This year we received excellent undergraduate and postgraduate entries from all across the UK, with a wide range of projects including marine litter, seabed activity, marine spatial management, monitoring of megafauna and sustainable fisheries.” said Sabrina Taseer, projects and development manager at P1 Marine Foundation. “We are delighted that our Awards are giving prominence to exciting and valuable projects of this nature that go beyond research and analysis to develop solutions for marine conservation.”

Entries were judged by a panel including Dr Laura Foster; Maya Plass, Marine Biologist and Presenter; and Dr Trevor Dixon, Marine Pollution Specialist at Advisory Committee of the Protection of the Sea. 

P1 Marine Foundation is a UK registered charity focused on safeguarding and protecting the marine environment through awareness, education and partnerships. For further information please contact Sabrina Taseer, P1 Marine Foundation, Projects and Development Manager on sabrina@p1marinefoundation.com

The Crown Estate is an independent commercial business, established by Act of Parliament, returning all its profits to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances.  It manages a diverse range of assets, including around half the foreshore and the UK seabed out to the 12 nautical mile limit; Regent Street and much of St James’s in central London; prime regional retail; and one of the largest rural land portfolios.

In addition to the managing the UK seabed out the 12 nautical mile limit, the business holds the rights to generate electricity from wind, waves and the tides out to 200 nautical miles/the Continental Shelf under the Energy Act 2004; and rights to the transportation and storage of natural gas and carbon dioxide on the continental shelf under the Energy Act 2008

Over the last 10 years The Crown Estate has returned over £2.3bn to the Treasury. In the last financial year the value of the business rose to almost £11bn and its returns were £285m. 

The Marine Conservation Society is a UK charity for the protection of the seas around the United Kingdom, and for the protection of their shores and wildlife. Wakefield Memorial Fund – Daphne and Tony Wakefield lost their daughter from polio in 1957 after she swam in sewage polluted water. They spent much of their lives subsequently campaigning for an improvement in the quality of coastal bathing waters, and they established a charity (the Coastal Anti-Pollution League) as a vehicle for their campaign. Tony and Daphne believed that public ignorance of the problem had to be corrected and one of their greatest successes was the charity’s annual publication of the forerunner to the Good Beach Guide, now published by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). The Coastal Anti-Pollution League was incorporated into MCS when Tony retired. www.mcsuk.org 

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) is the international membership body and learned society for professionals operating in the spheres of marine engineering, science, or technology. It has registered charity status in the UK. It has a worldwide membership of 15,000 individuals based in over 100 countries. The Institute is a member of the UK Science Council and a licensed body of the Engineering Council UK.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 January 2016 )