Sex changing sea life brings research to life for new event series

Up close image of sea worms

Life Solved Live sees the University’s leading academics reveal discoveries that will change the way you see and understand things.

  • 27 September 2021
  • 3 min read

This October, the University of Portsmouth launches an exciting new event series, lifting the lid on its extraordinary research that offers fascinating insight into the world around us.

Hosted at unique venues around the city, Life Solved Live sees the University’s leading academics reveal discoveries that will change the way you see and understand things. The series builds on the University's popular Life Solved podcast series, which is available on all major podcast players.

Starting the series is Professor Alex Ford who will explain the shocking truth behind our pollutants and our marine life in his talk ‘Sex changing sea life’. The free event is on Thursday 14 October at Boathouse 4 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, starting at 7.15pm (doors open at 6.30pm).

Professor Ford is an Environmental Biologist in the University’s School of Biological Sciences and Deputy Director of the Centre for Blue Governance. His research looks at what impact chemicals can have on marine environments when human action puts them in places they shouldn't be.

Alex Ford smiling in front of red wall

In the past, we were concerned about chemicals that act like oestrogens getting into the water and changing the sex of fish, for instance. Now we're concerned about a vast array of chemicals that might interfere hormones in aquatic organisms, some of which can change behaviour.

Professor Alex Ford, Deputy Director of the Centre for Blue Governance

Professor Ford said: “This talk will explore some of the synergies between the effects of chemical contaminants on human sperm counts through to reproductive abnormalities found in sea life. In the past, we were concerned about chemicals that act like oestrogens getting into the water and changing the sex of fish, for instance. Now we're concerned about a vast array of chemicals that might interfere hormones in aquatic organisms, some of which can change behaviour.”

Trudy Monk, Head of Alumni Relations and organiser of the Life Solved Live series, said: “Life Solved Live lifts the lid on the latest ideas and discoveries that look set to change our lives. At each event, our academics will present their cutting-edge research, which is set to revolutionise the way our world works. We look forward to opening up the University to our local community to explain how technology and community go hand in hand with the natural world, and how industry and sustainable environments can connect for the benefit of society.”

The event is free but places must be booked in advance.

Parking is available at Gunwharf Quays, just a five-minute walk away from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Life Solved continues with further talks in the coming months, please keep checking the University website for more details.

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