Every year The Deep welcomes a small number of students behind the scenes, allowing them to undertake crucial research for their end of year thesis, focusing on the marine environment.
By studying our animals and their environments, the projects aim to not only meet the requirements of the student, but also make strides in the continued development of aquarium husbandry, welfare practises and scientific discovery.
Research opportunities encompass levels up to and including PhD and have allowed the students to progress into employment within the research sector both within the UK and out in the field working for species conservation.
By looking into topics such as behaviour, reproduction, feeding and habitats - to name a few - they are not only working to complete their studies, but their findings can play a crucial role in the continual development of species management within aquariums.
Many of our students come form Hull University and are studying for either their Bachelors or Masters Degree in Marine Biology, Zoology or similar subjects. These studies have allowed them to progress onto complete a PhD in their chosen topic or provided them with the knowledge and experience needed to undertake conservation work out in the field and across the globe.
You may see them around the aquarium with a dashing blue clip board or armed with a go-pro camera. We wish them the best of luck with their studies and the final production of their research dissertation later in the year.
Choon is one of our 2018 students. She is currently in her 3rd year at Hull Univeristy where she is completing a her degree in Zoology. Choon is researching our Blue Spotted Ribbontail Rays and the Blue Spot Rays within the Lagoon of Light. By examining the behavioural interactions between the two species during feed times, such as food competition, she hopes to establish if there is a dominance hierarchy present between the two separate species alongside the hierarchy that is already evident between individuals of the same species. Similar interactions between the rays and Zebra sharks will also be explored.
Other topics being researched this year include: Sophie is invesitgating behaviour and communication in Gentoo penguins; Matt is measuring the production of planular larvae in corals in repsonse to the type of food consumed and the light they are exposed to, to identify the best conditions for optimal reproduction within aquariums and Jessica is working to develop a Health Index for Corals. Jessica is comparing two seperate species of corals, using their photosynthetic activity and polyp extension as a measure of health in response to various factors such as food, salinity, light and air exposure.