Stills image from the 360° film "Coral Reefs - Life Below The Surface " by ZMT and The Jetlagged | Photo: The Jetlagged

20.9.2018 | How healthy is our environment? Anyone interested in this question can gain exciting insights at the stands of Jacobs University Bremen and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT). Next weekend (September 22 and 23, each day from 10 am to 6 pm), both institutions will present themselves, among other things, with a joint research project on the “Forschungsmeile” (research mile) at Schlachte in Bremen’s city centre.

The world of coral reefs is as fascinating as it is threatened. Around 30 percent of the world's reefs are already considered severely damaged by human activity - and the trend is rising. How can more people be enthused about this unique ecosystem and sensitized to its endangerment? Can virtual dives help to increase the willingness to donate for the protection of coral reefs? Researchers from the ZMT and Jacobs University, led by the social scientist Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter, have been working on this topic.

Part of their project is a film that uses 360-degree headsets to take visitors to the research mile into the coral triangle in Southeast Asia, one of the world's most biodiverse marine regions. Two different virtual dives, produced by filmmakers “The Jetlagged”, illustrate the beauty of this underwater landscape, but also show what it could look like in the future if no investment is made to ensure its protection. The neighboring exhibition tents of ZMT and Jacobs University thus become virtual diving stations where visitors can compare two different scenarios.

The ZMT in its tent also provides information on how a real dive takes place and what is needed for it. The institute is a certified scientific diving facilty. Students, who have completed the training, will give an insight into the training and the methods of research diving and present their equipment. Visitors can test the wearing comfort of diving masks and weight belts.

The “research mile” is part of a week of maritime events in Bremen “(Maritime Woche”) and takes place once a year in September. In 22 pagoda tents on the Schlachte shore, universities and research institutions in the state of Bremen provide insights into their work.