Marine conference dedicated to eminent Manx naturalist

– Posted on Friday 16th January 2015

The public is invited to attend a conference that will celebrate the Island’s marine environment and expertise.

The Edward Forbes Bicentenary Marine Science and Conservation Conference will take place from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th February at the Manx Museum, Douglas.

Organised by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture in partnership with Manx National Heritage, the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society and the Society for the Preservation of the Manx Countryside, the conference is dedicated to eminent Manx naturalist Edward Forbes.

Born in Douglas in 1815, Forbes is most noted locally for his cataloguing of the marine life inhabiting the Isle of Man and the neighbouring sea. He is also known internationally for his work as a marine biologist, geologist and naturalist.

Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, will give a welcome address at the conference. He said:

‘In holding the conference, we aim to inspire the public to understand the importance of safeguarding our natural resources and what they can do help cultivate, support and protect marine biodiversity here in the Isle of Man. I invite the public to attend and find out more about the influence and significance of our marine environment.’

The conference will be opened by Edmund Southworth, Director of Manx National Heritage, and will feature more than 30 speakers, including visiting naturalists and scientists.

Keynote speakers include local author and marine biologist Professor Trevor Norton, Steve Hawkins, a leading marine scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Southampton University, and Dr Les Noble, a specialist in basking shark genetics from Aberdeen University.

Manx PhD student Graihagh Hardinge will talk about her research on jellyfish at the Natural History Museum in London and Tony Glen from Seasearch Isle of Man and Bill Dale from Beach Buddies will talk about local action towards global marine conservation challenges.

To coincide with the conference, the museum will stage a display on the life and legacy of Edward Forbes.

Registration is available through Eventbrite – with attendance at the entire event costing £45, including lunches, if you book before the end of January and £70 after that. Tickets for individual days are also available.


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