Monthly Archives

June 2012

Lectures to the volunteers

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During our trip to Cambodia, Kelan from Save Our Seahorses (Ireland) and Neil from the trust did a talk on the work we are doing around the world and how we can work with and help to enhance the project in Cambodia.


Neil talking about the British Seahorse Survey


Neil on the left, Paul (MD of Marine Conservation Cambodia) in the centre and Kealan from save our Seahorses after the talk answering some of the many questions they were asked from the volunteers.

Welcome to Professor Jack Cohen

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We would like to give a warm welcome to Professor Jack Cohen FIBiol., DSc., who has kindly come on board as a patron of the trust. Jack has an incredible career in aquatics and as an advisor on films and books.

Polymath, sympathetic biologist and creator of credible aliens, Prof Jack began a lifelong interest in fish as boy in the 1940s – importing and breeding tropical species long before it was common to do so. His academic career led him from cell culture to human fertility and complexity theory, yet he has always maintained his fascination with things aquatic and inspired many students by keeping fish in his departments.

Those of you from an academic background are unlikely to need us to introduce Professor Jack Cohen, so well known is he and his work within the field of biology – at Birmingham University for some thirty years and later at Warwick University. He denies being a mathematician, despite having been made an Honorary Professor in that Institute.

Many of  Jack’s former students have made their own mark on the world of science; including one who developed the use of DNA-fingerprinting and one who received a Nobel prize.

Author of  numerous scientific books and research papers, Jack is also known for his popular science publications, and has been involved in many science and natural history programmes on television and radio including Horizon and Attenborough’s Trials of Life. Notable science-fiction authors such as  Anne McCaffrey and Jerry Pournelle consult him to design alien creatures and ecologies, and recently he has been collaborating with Ian Stewart to create the Science of Discworld series with Terry Pratchett.

Jack’s public lectures, which he continues to deliver, include titles like ‘The possibility of life on other planets’, ‘Why is Mickey Mouse?’ and ‘Why so many sperms?’, while his day schools and evening courses have included: Techniques for Biologists and Naturalists, Freshwater Ecology, Aquaria in Classrooms, and Animal Handling. Although now mostly retired, he continues to write and campaign to promote public awareness and understanding of science.

If you imagine him to be a stuffy old-fashioned Prof – you are mistaken. He is one of the kindest, most entertaining chaps one could meet and we are delighted he has accepted our invitation to become a Seahorse Trust patron.

Prof Jack

Research trip to Cambodia

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I have just come back from a fact finding trip to Cambodia with Kealan from Save our Seahorses in Ireland ( and would like to thank Paul from Marine Conservation Cambodia and Suzi from Projects Abroad ( for hosting and funding the trip and a special thanks to the Government and people of Cambodia for their warm welcome and hospitality.
We looked at the Islands of Koh Rong Samleon and Koh Rong for seahorses and we found 6 in total of 2 different species. Recently the site has been devastated by trawling and our work with everyone else was to devise projects to ensure the future of the seahorses and the habitat in the area and also to understand more about the biology and ecology of the seahorses and the environment.
With this in mind we are setting up an aquaculture project in Sihanoukville on the mainland to release seahorses back into the wild and a wide range of projects on the islands, looking at the jungle as well as the sea. This is just an early stage of the project and already we have had the go ahead form the Cambodian Government for many parts of the work and I would like to offer my sincere thanks for their hospitality and kindness. This is an exciting project for all concerned as it will allow us to bring our expertise to this much needed area. As things progress I will keep you all updated on the project and the work.