Thursday 30th June 2022

A report back from Year 7 extension at the Portobello Aquarium

Blake Chalmers, Adam Dockerty and Ruan Hamman attended an extension programme over four days at the aquarium.

Blake writes:

"When we first arrived at the aquarium we were confronted with a massive, tall tank containing many of the fish that thrive in Dunedin's coastal waters. Later, we went into the lab for a safety briefing and to be split into groups. I was selected for the red team, studying the effects of ocean warming on various sea creatures. The first experiment we conducted was on marine ascidians (sea squirts). We investigated the relationship between rising temperatures and their tactile (touch response) speed. We also investigated brittle sea stars' preferred temperature and found it was about the average temperature of the harbour water. This means that as the water temperature rises over the next few years we will see fewer seas and fewer sea stars in our waters. For our final experiment, we used dye to test the pumping ability of sponges at different temperatures. We found that their pumping ability decreased to almost zero with just a few degrees of water temperature rise."