Discover the fascinating world of marine biology

To celebrate this year’s Earth Day, we partnered with the NI Science Festival and the Department of Education to help deliver a very special series of talks and workshops for schools. These included talks with National Geographic marine explorers Dr Giovanni Chimenti and Assistant Prof Lisa Becking, who discussed their inspiring research and their work in marine biology.

The events were hosted by Theoretical Physicist, TV presenter, Science Communicator (and former professional footballer) Mark Langtry and are part of our global programme, #TheClimateConnection, taking place in the run up to COP26.  


What is Earth Day?

Earth Day has been marked on 22 April every year since its inception in 1970. Marked by millions around the world, Earth Day is an annual event designed to shine a light on the serious environmental problems we’re facing, from the climate crisis to air pollution and deforestation.

About The Climate Connection

The United Kingdom will host the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland from 1 to 12 November 2021. To support COP26 ambitions, the British Council is working with partners worldwide to provide a platform for global climate co-operation, dialogue and action. 

The British Council’s Climate Connection programme brings people around the world together to meet the challenges of climate change. It’s about sharing ideas, developing innovative climate solutions, and taking positive action together.

Drawing on our global network, the programme connects people from different countries, cultures, generations and backgrounds – young people and policy makers, artists and scientists, business and community leaders, and many others. 

In particular, it focuses on the next generation of climate leaders and gives practical support to young people and communities most impacted by climate change, helping them to share their perspectives globally and achieve real change.

With global climate conversations, art and science showcases, university scholarships, funding, research, training opportunities and more, The Climate Connection has something for everyone. Join in to make connections and make a difference.

Find out more about the programme here.

About Dr Giovanni Chimienti

Giovanni Chimienti is a zoologist and marine biologist studying corals and deep-sea environments. A 2018 National Geographic Explorer, Chimienti is currently Researcher at the Department of Biology of the University of Bari, in Italy. Chimienti is also consultant for the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) concerning Mediterranean corals and deep-sea habitats, as well as member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

His main scientific topics are cold-water corals, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, where he is currently studying the effects of climate changes on marine communities. Chimienti is a professional scuba diver (up to 60 m depth) and he uses remotely operated vehicles and submersiblesto explore the depth of the ocean. He led the project for the exploration of the twilight zone of Tremiti Archipelago (funded by the National Geographic Society). In this occasion, Chimienti found an extensive black coral forest, that is now candidate to be under national protection. 

Chimienti has received several prestigious scientific awards for his studies, including from Accademia dei Lincei, the Italian Marine Biology Society, the Italian Zoological Union, the Mediterranean Science Commission, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas, the Deep-Sea Biology Society, the PES Foundation, and Prince Albert II of Monaco.

About Lisa Becking

Lisa Becking is an assistant professor in tropical marine biodiversity at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. 

As a marine biologist, she studies how life in the sea adapts to environmental changes over ecological and evolutionary timescales. Her goal is to make the general public and academic researchers more aware of marine ecosystems. 

A major focus of her research is marine lakes in Indonesia. These landlocked bodies of water constitute natural laboratories of evolution with high levels of endemism and are strongly reminiscent of terrestrial islands. Becking has participated in various expeditions of Naturalis Biodiversity Center museum and the University of Tokyo, and she has organized five independent expeditions to the Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua, Indonesia, including the expedition, “Hidden Islands within Islands,” funded by the National Geographic Society.

External links