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An interactive talk at this year’s Summer Science Exhibition unveils the very latest discoveries from the cold northern waters of our planet. Recent underwater images show that the deep sea realm of the British Isles is nothing like the monotonous expanse of mud that many people imagine. Spectacular coral reefs, once thought to be restricted to the tropics, are now known to occur in the chilly waters of the UK and right up into Arctic waters. This has opened up an exciting new research area for marine science.

Dr Jason Hall-Spencer, a Royal Society Research Fellow based at the Marine Institute in Plymouth University, will showcase results from his most recent expedition to the Arctic in June. The expedition, as part of International Polar Year, targeted an area off northern Norway where the Earth's largest cold-water coral reefs are thought to occur. Although robots are usually used to survey deep-sea coral reefs, this expedition used a manned submersible so the scientists’ noses are inches away from these reefs and the spectacular animals that shelter within.

The presentation took place at the Summer Science Exhibition at the following times:

Monday 2 July 7.30pm

Tuesday 3 July 11.00am, 12.30pm, 3.00pm & 7.30pm

Wednesday 4 July – Thursday 5 July 11.00am, 12.30pm & 3.00pm