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PhD student Vanessa Yepes wins public outreach award!

Manchester Metropolitan University have recognised Vanessa Yepes-Narvaez as a Public Engagement Champion for her Lophos Project. Vanessa is a bryozoan specialist and is coming into the third year of her PhD in the Preziosi lab.

The Lophos Project is an focuses on marine invertebrates around the United Kingdom, giving college students and volunteers the chance to work alongside MMU scientists and immerse them in real research. This project emerged from the need to find new ways of showing the community of Greater Manchester the importance of marine sciences and how to control ocean acidification and preserve our oceans. We believe involving the non-scientific community in this work is a valuable and enormously rewarding experience for all those taking part, and we are committed to providing them with a unique, worthwhile and fun experience. The first part of this project is being developed by final year secondary students from Bolton College and it focuses mainly on bryozoans and the epifauna attached to natural and artificial substrates found at 20 m deep around Plymouth. Basically, they are identifying the bryozoans and analysing the percentage of coverage of all those epibionts to provide useful information about the ecology of marine invertebrates in the United Kingdom. The students have expressed how they've enjoyed being part of this opportunity and are looking forward to writing a short article about their findings in some academic magazines!

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