Image in banner,courtesy of University of St Andrews.
Situated on the Firth of Tay, Dundee is perfectly placed to be home to a multitude of marine innovations. Karen Tocher, business tourism manager at Dundee & Angus Convention Bureau, reveals all…
Dundee – the city of discovery: named not only for its world-class innovators, but also as the home of RRS Discovery, the locally-built research vessel which carried Scott and Shackleton on their first expedition to Antarctica.
Now a floating museum berthed in the city’s up-and-coming Waterfront – and host to numerous corporate events throughout the year – the ship represents a link between Dundee and Angus’ maritime past, present and future.
Although no longer a hub of shipbuilding, Dundee’s connection with maritime industries remains strong. The city’s academic institutions and private sector continue to find new and diverse ways to increase our collective understanding of the marine world.
Abertay University’s Dr Kimberley Bennet, for example, continues to improve our knowledge of marine life by studying the behaviours and biology of grey seal pups in the water nearby.
Her current research – in collaboration with the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews and researchers in Belgium – examines how man-made contaminants are absorbed into fat tissue.
This has important implications not just within the field of marine biology, but also in humans. The contaminants present in seals may also be found in humans, ingested through the food chain – and Kimberley and her team are investigating how this may be linked to obesity and humans’ ability to process fats.
But seals are not the only focus of marine research across the region. Researchers at the James Hutton Institute have collaborated with the Scottish Association of Marine Science to study another brand of marine life – of a plant-based variety.
The peppery flavour of pepper dulse, an edible seaweed popular with top chefs, has been under the microscope. The Institute has attempted to discover how location, growing environment and season impacts on changes in flavour of the seaweed, which grows along the west coast of Scotland.
And across the city, the University of Dundee brings its considerable wealth of expertise in engineering to the maritime world, offering leading courses in subjects including Marine Hydrodynamics and Ocean Engineering. The university is committed to inspiring and equipping the innovators of the future, impacting on the fields of coastal, offshore, subsea and naval engineering and architecture.
Which brings us almost full circle – back to the world of ships – at the Port of Dundee; a hive of activity servicing oil and gas and offshore wind installations. The port also offers facilities for those working in the decommissioning industry, impacting on the way in which we utilise the seas resources off the coast of Scotland.
From historic ships to present-day sea life, Dundee and Angus has a long history with the waters around it, inspiring innovation and advances in many related fields and once again proving that Dundee is where ideas become legend.