Seminar: Ocean Science and Climate Change – the Journey of TARA

Date: March 13, 2018 (Tuesday)
Time: 5:00 pm
Venue: Theatre CBA, G/F, Chow Yei Ching Building, HKU Campus
Medium: English
Speakers: Mr Romain Troublé, Professor Chris Bowler and Dr Till Rothig
Organised by: The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS)


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  • Seminar: Ocean Science and Climate Change – the Journey of TARA

TARA’s mission
Since 2003 the schooner TARA has traveled nearly 400,000 kilometers on its mission to better understand and protect the ocean. Inspired by Cousteau’s famous expeditions on the “Calypso”, TARA presents a modern approach to deepen our knowledge on the mysteries of the ocean. TARA has conducted 11 expeditions in close collaboration with numerous excellent international institutes and partners. The TARA team is developing global, multidisciplinary, innovative research based on scientific approaches never before used for the Ocean. The results obtained transform the way we think about the Ocean, just as genetics did in the field of medicine. However, TARA is more than a scientific expedition. Tara Expeditions uses this high-level scientific expertise to raise public awareness and educate young people, mobilize policy makers, and enable developing countries to access this new knowledge. TARA’s mission is to help us predicting the future of the ocean and find solutions for present and future problems, for instance caused by climate change.

TARA in Hong Kong
During the current Tara Pacific expedition, the TARA team is focusing on coral reefs. Sampling coral reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean, the TARA will stop over in Hong Kong to sample the unique and diverse local coral communities. Corals around Hong Kong cope with exceptional conditions, they face cold winters, turbid and nutrient rich waters, high sedimentation and low salinity. Corals at other locations usually can’t endure these conditions – which poses the question what makes Hong Kong corals so tough. These knowledge may help to protect coral reefs on a global scale. On Tuesday 13th of March Hong Kong University hosts an evening that will make you a part of the TARA mission. Learn about the about the scientific advances TARA has promoted and about the ideas and spirit that drive this international endeavor. Three speakers will introduce different aspects of the largest ecosystem on earth, the ocean. Romain Troublé, the Executive Director of the Tara Expeditions Foundation, will give insights about the logistics of this immense international collaboration. Who is involved, what are the pillars the Tara Expedition Foundation is standing upon and how does that help to save our ocean? Prof. Chris Bowler is scientific coordinator of Tara Oceans and scientific director of Tara Oceans Polar expeditions. He will take you into the realm of plankton – tiny but immensely abundant organisms that drift around all over our planet. Did you know that one-third of the oxygen you breathe originates form plankton? If that is not reason enough to learn more! Dr. Till Röthig spent two months on the Tara Pacific expedition sampling corals between Wallis and Japan. He will give insights on the life of corals – what’s the status of coral reefs and why are they threatened?

The Speakers
Mr Romain Troublé - Executive Director of the Tara Expeditions Foundation
The TARA mission – How to make a difference for the Ocean

Professor Chris Bowler - CNRS and Ecole normale supérieure, France
TARA Oceans – A New World in the Ocean

Dr Till Röthig - The Swire Institute of Marine Science (SWIMS), HKU
TARA Pacific – Coral Reef Biodiversity Facing Climate Change