News Release

REF NO.: 80

SUBJECT: Johnson GEO CENTRE Public Lecture Series

DATE: November 15, 2010

            As part of the festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of Memorial University’s Department of Geography, the Johnson GEO CENTRE is sponsoring a series of public lectures on the role of geography in all of our lives.
Dr. Evan Edinger of Memorial's Department of Geography will speak on Adventures with the Yellow Submarine: Exploring Deep-Sea Coral Habitats in Newfoundland on Tuesday Nov. 16, 2010.
            When most people think about corals, they think of TV series about tropical scuba diving, or maybe snorkeling over a reef in the Caribbean. Few of us realize that deep beneath the waves, more than 40 species of deep-sea corals are found in the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador. Fishermen have unintentionally caught corals off Newfoundland in their fishing gear, but only recently have scientists begun to explore the habitats of corals in the cold waters off our shores. 
            Remote Operated Vehicles such as ROPOS have become the instrument of choice for scientific exploration of deep-sea coral habitats. Corals in the cold waters off Newfoundland include tall long-lived sea fans and black corals with rigid skeletons up to two metres tall, with some species living hundreds of years. Corals improve habitat quality for fishes and a variety of marine invertebrates. Because corals are slow growing and long-lived, they are also highly sensitive to human impacts, especially deep-sea fishing. Conserving coral habitats is important for preserving the rich biodiversity of our waters. Using images and underwater videos, Evan Edinger will be providing rare insights into the underwater world off our coastline.
            The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. at the Johnson GEO CENTRE.

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