Talks and Exhibitions
Today I met Alasdair Davies (a technical advisor to ZSL) and David Curnick (conservationist) after a quick introduction at the launch of the “Big Experiment”. We were speaking about an existing project they have received a grant to expand upon called Instant Wild, and sounds like the next phase is a real challenge.
In fact it shares many synergies with some work I am already looking at undertaking in using environmental sensors to replicate conditions for the spawning of corals, so it was a very interesting discussion and a real worthwhile cause so I was keen to jump on board. It has iPhone, website and micro electronics elements… so it’s right up my street!
In a nutshell, the project involves a network of cameras, triggered by the movement of animals. These images are then sent via a cellular network connection to a server, from that server the images are displayed on the Instant Wild website and iPhone application. Then there is an element of what they call Citizen Science, where by members of the public can identify the animals and therefore contribute to the project, this isn’t too dissimilar to the MarineMad Big Experiment I authored with the University of Essex and CARN.
You might know that I develop and run Marinemad.com a social networking website for Marine Aquaria with a suite of software management tools for this purpose.
About a year ago I met some scientists at the University Of Essex and agreed to collaboratively work with them in creating a questionnaire based on collating knowledge from people who have aquariums at home and are growing and culturing corals.
The Coral Aquarist Research Network is the project that facilitated the experiment of collating this information from the general public, and Pippa Mansell (the project leader) set up a wonderful line up for a day of talks the general public could attend at London Zoo (ZSL).
The talks involved a number of renownd scientists from the UK and I was lucky enough to get a slot to talk about the MarineMad project and how it facilitates CARN in the “Big Experiment”.
Here is a quick photo update showing the Key Speakers of the CARN Big Experiment launch with MarineMad, here we have
(from left ot right)
- Dr David Smith, Head of the Coral Reef Research Unit at the University of Essex
- Jamie Craggs, Curator at the Horniman Museam
- Gary Fletcher (me), in the capacity of the Director of MarineMad and author of the Big Experiment tools
- Dr Michael Sweet, University of Newcastle – launching his own website project on coral diseases http://aquariumcoraldiseases.weebly.com/
- Philippe Laissue, PhD, Bioimaging Manager School of Biological Sciences
- Pippa Mansell, Senior Research Officer at the Coral Reef Research Unit at the University of Essex (and the person who made it all happen)
Today we share a stand with ITC Aquatics (a UK marine aquarium wholesaler) showing a tech preview at an industry trade show to guage feedback and ideas to go into our official launch at the Aquatics Live public show at Olympia.
Today we’re launching MarineMad to the public at the first ever show of its kind at Aqua 2011 in London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre – it promises to be a fab event!
We even have some mermaids to hand out our promotional material as IT just isn’t all that interesting on paper!