4.7.16 | Just in time for the Breminale festival another highlight will be stopping over in Bremen. From July 14 - 17 the exhibition vessel MS Wissenschaft will anchor at Tiefer 2. Every summer the swimming science centre is on tour throughout Germany as part of the Year of Science by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This year the exhibition on the former cargo ship is dedicated to the fascinating worlds of the seas and the oceans. An exhibit by the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) is also on board. It allows visitors to discover a virtual tropical coral reef.

Visitors can dive into a coral reef using a virtual reality headset (Oculus) and meet reef creatures such as turtles, corals, sharks, clown fish or doctor fish. Whilst swimming though the virtual reef divers can also learn about these marine organisms and find out what strains and stresses the reefs are exposed to. The elaborate digital exhibit has been developed by the IT Department of the ZMT in collaboration with its coral reef ecologists.

“Coral reefs are suffering from destructive fishing methods, overfishing, ocean acidification, eutrophication and a rise in water temperatures – currently as a result of El Niño,” says Dr. Ferse. “Our 3D-model shows in an impressive way, how corals react to some of these stress factors.” The exhibit allows to experience underwater effects of dynamite fishing or coral bleaching.

ZMT researchers are studying what will happen to coral reefs if the above-mentioned stress factors and other environmental changes continue to affect these precious ecosystems. They are planning to programme a 3-D model based on real field data, which would allow them to monitor the development over many decades of a virtual reef affected by harmful impacts. Such an interactive model could be the basis for decisions for sustainable coastal management and also show local population in the tropics what happens as a result of the way reefs are treated. The exhibit shown on the MS Wissenschaft is a first step in this direction.

MS Wissenschaft in Bremen
July 14 – 17, 2016
Pier: Tiefer 2
Opening Hours: daily 10:00 – 19:00
Interested guests are cordially invited, the entry is free.

As part of the event „Meet the Scientist“ on the MS Wissenschaft in Bremerhaven, Dr. Achim Meyer from ZMT will be answering visitors’ questions about coral reefs and the problems they are facing.
When: July 12, 2016 from 5 to 7pm
Where: MS Wissenschaft in Bremerhaven

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