Splendour’s science experiment wows festivalgoers

Published 17 July 2019
Science Tent Splendour Science Tent at Splendour in the Grass

Stimulate your curiosity, not just your ears, when the Science Tent returns to Splendour in the Grass at Byron Bay for the third year running.

Splendour’s local university, Southern Cross University at Lismore, has a STEM-tastic all-female line-up of scientists to inspire, educate and entertain festivalgoers across the weekend of July 19-21.

Changing climate, changing corals Friday at 10.30am. With PhD researchers Sophie Pryor (Instagram: @sophielovesfish) and Kay Davis (Twitter, Instagram: @_coral_kay) from our National Marine Science Centre (Twitter: @NMSCSCU)  

Sophie and Kay will bring live corals and anemones to show how climate change and ocean acidification breaks down skeletons; watch bleaching in action; and see how cyclones damage reefs.

Sky’s the limit! Sunday at 12.30pm. With Anna Giles PhD researcher from our National Marine Science Centre (Twitter: @NMSCSCU)

Anna uses remote sensing – satellite imagery, drones and mapping – to understand the environment, assess environmental change and come up with solutions.

Beyond coral Sunday at 1pm. With Laura Stoltenberg PhD researcher (Twitter: @SurfingSiren @biogeochemSCU)

Did you know that some coral reefs are 90% covered in sand? Or that some beaches and islands are made by fish poop? Coral sand harbours countless tiny microorganisms crucial for reef health and functioning. After this session, you will never look at sand the same way.

View the full Science Tent program here https://splendourinthegrass.com/explore/the-science-tent

Coral researcher Kay Davis was featured on BBC World News this month for her new research on coral growth at One Tree Island which is bucking the trend on the Great Barrier Reef.

Kay is looking forward to the ‘Changing climate, changing corals’ presentation on Friday at Splendour where she and fellow PhD researcher Sophie Pryor will showcase the effects of bleaching on live anemones and corals and the effects of acidification – using vinegar – on coral skeletons.

“People won’t easily forget watching a coral skeleton dissolve due to acidification,” Kay said.

“We want young people to have firsthand experience in seeing what climate change is doing to our coral reefs and their inhabitants. Only through greater understanding can we achieve community engagement and action. This Science Tent showcases to young people that we don’t just look and act like the stereotypical scientist, but we are the same age as many of them and we are working towards a better future.”

For Kay, meeting Dr Karl Kruszelnicki at the Science Tent will be a Splendour celebrity experience as much as seeing favourite bands such as Tame Impala and Childish Gambino.

If your mind is blown after dropping by the Science Tent, then explore your career horizons with Southern Cross University. We offer degrees in science, environmental science, marine science and engineering. Our campuses are at Lismore, Coffs Harbour (including the National Marine Science Centre), Gold Coast and online. 

Southern Cross University researcher Sophie Pryor will present at the Splendour Science TentSouthern Cross University researcher Sophie Pryor will present at the Splendour Science Tent

Media contact: Jessica Nelson jessica.nelson@scu.edu.au