Lecturer takes plunge with research role in the Pacific

A SCIENTIST and university lecturer has started 2014 in South America, about 7,500 miles from her home.

Cath Waller, who lectures at the Scarborough Campus of the University of Hull, has gone to spend the whole of January at a Pacific Ocean marine station at Las Cruces in Chile.

More accustomed to being in the frozen waters of the Antarctic this is the first time that Ms Waller will have taken her research into bryozoans to a warmer climate. She will be investigating the impact of inter-tidal and sub-tidal waters on the creatures and monitoring the impacts of climate change.

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She said: “Bryozoans are microscopic creatures that make their homes on rocks and other surfaces such as ships and pilings.”

The site in Chile is one of several around the world that are part of the Assemble programme – Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories.

The stations allow scientists access to the local marine environment and research facilities for conducting experiments both in and out of the water.

She has been a lecturer in the Scarborough Centre for Environmental and Marine Science for four years.