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Health tips and a virtual dive to coral reefs

In the tents of the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research and Jacobs University, visitors can set off on virtual dives to coral reefs. Photo: The Jetlagged


September 20, 2018

How healthy are we - and how healthy is our environment? Anyone interested in these questions can gain exciting insights at the stands of Jacobs University Bremen and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT). Next weekend (22 and 23 September, each from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), both institutions will present themselves, among other things, with a joint research project on the “Forschungsmeile” (research mile) at the Schlachte in Bremen’s city center.

The world of coral reefs is as fascinating as it is threatened. Around 30 percent of the world's reefs are already considered severely damaged by human activity - and the trend is rising. How can more people be enthused about this unique ecosystem and sensitized to its endangerment? Can virtual dives help to increase the willingness to donate for the protection of coral reefs? Researchers from the ZMT and Jacobs University, led by the social scientist Prof. Dr. Achim Schlüter, have been working on this topic.

Part of their project is a film that uses 360-degree headsets to take visitors to the research mile into the coral triangle in Southeast Asia, one of the world's most biodiverse marine regions. Two different virtual dives, produced by filmmakers “The Jetlagged”, illustrate the beauty of this underwater landscape, but also show what it could look like in the future if no investment is made to ensure its protection. The neighboring exhibition tents of ZMT and Jacobs University thus become virtual diving stations where visitors can compare two different scenarios.

The ZMT in its tent also provides information on how a real dive takes place and what is needed for it.  The institute is a recognized training company for research divers. Students, who have completed the training, will give an insight into the training and the methods of research diving and present their equipment. Visitors can test the wearing comfort of diving masks and weight belts.

Good intentions can be made both in terms of environmental protection and for one's own health: But why is it so difficult for many people to actually behave health-consciously? And how can one overcome the weaker self? Health psychologist Prof. Dr. Sonia Lippke and her team have been dealing with these questions for years. Lippke is now also responsible for promoting the health of students and staff at Jacobs University - and knows many useful methods that help turn good intentions into action.

At the Jacobs University tent, visitors can use simple measurements to check their own body fat percentage - and find out in a quiz what helps them staying healthy. They will be supported in this by students from Jacobs University's Master's program in Psychology, among others, who themselves have experience of research-based learning. Information on other research topics and courses offered by Jacobs University round off the program in the tent.

The “research mile” is part of a week of maritime events in Bremen  ("Maritime Woche”) and takes place once a year in September. In 22 pagoda tents on the Schlachte shore, universities and research institutions in the state of Bremen provide insights into their work.

About the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research:
In research and education, the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen is dedicated to the better understanding of tropical coastal ecosystems. As an interdisciplinary Leibniz institute, the ZMT conducts research on the structure and functioning of tropical coastal ecosystems and their reaction to natural changes and human interactions. It aims to provide a scientific basis for the protection and sustainable use of these ecosystems. The ZMT works in close cooperation with partners in the tropics, where it supports capacity building and the development of infrastructures in the area of sustainable coastal zone management. The ZMT is a member of the Leibniz Association.
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