University of St Andrews: mud to mammals

CBESS and the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) at the University of St Andrews joined forces for the Dundee Science Festival. We spent a fun-filled afternoon at Menzies Community Centre in Dundee.

The power of plants_wCBESS demonstrated the power of salt marshes as flood defences using a Lego saltmarsh and salt marsh plants. SMRU used lard to show how blubber keeps dolphins warm, how researchers identify the bottlenose dolphins living in the Tay using their fins and reminded participants how to sell the difference between sea mammals and fish.

Dolphin photo ID_wThe Dundee Science Festival was an exciting opportunity to talk to the public about current research carried out the University of St Andrews. The festival organisers wanted to engage public that would not normally visit a science centre, so they took the festival to community venues across Dundee.  Over 150 children, teenagers and their teachers, parents and carers took part in the activities at Menzies Community Centre.

Sea mammals vs fish_wIn addition to research from the University of St Andrews, the British Science Association, the University of Dundee and Strathclyde also showcased their work. The festival was held from 31 Oct – 15 Nov 2015 and was launched in 2010 aims to engage and inspire the whole community.


Meriem Kayoueche-Reeve, University of St Andrews