Marine life: Battling zombie parasites and pollution

This is a Biology Subject Spotlight with Professor Alex Ford & Dr Nicolai Roterman from University of Portsmouth. An interactive, cinematic course taster experience to allow students to gain insights into what it's like to study Biology.

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In this Subject Spotlight, Professor Alex Ford and Dr Nicolai Roterman present a lecture from the University of Portsmouth’s BSc Marine Biology course, with a keen focus upon localised marine issues, habitat restoration, pollution and marine biodiversity. You will learn about symbiotic relationships, looking at parasites, commensalism and mutualism, and the impact of pollution on the marine environment, as well as why we are rewilding the sea, and the interaction between biodiversity and climate change. As part of this unique, fascinating and interactive Subject Spotlight, you will also complete an activity in which you will consider logical solutions to some of the most pressing marine biology issues of our times. Professor Alex Ford will also give you an overview of possible careers as a result of embarking on this course at the University of Portsmouth.

About University of Portsmouth

Based in the heart of the UK's only island city, the University of Portsmouth is committed to giving every student a life-changing experience. Outstanding teaching and wide-ranging support make for a lively community where students develop skills and confidence for a rewarding career. The campus is a compact site that's interwoven with the city and is just steps away from the beautiful seafront. Portsmouth is committed to their students’ futures too, with 94% of graduates in work or further study, and they offer a broad range of degrees across subjects including business, creative and cultural industries, humanities, law, sciences, social sciences, and technology. Learners will be able to access plenty of options for professional development through placement, work experience and volunteer opportunities. In addition, a dedicated careers and employability service is on hand with expert advice so Portsmouth's students are well placed for success and are given support well beyond graduation.

Meet the academics

Professor Alex Ford

Professor Alex Ford is a Professor of Biology who investigates how humans impact the environment. He has over 20 years experience in academia and has expertise in marine biology, parasitology and environmental toxicology. Using crustaceans primarily as study organisms, he has discovered new parasites that can change the sex and behaviour of marine life. He has determined the impacts of a wide range of pollutants on wildlife from pesticides, plastics, radiation through to compounds found in prescription and illegal drugs. He has served as an editor for several journals and an independent expert to government, industry and conservation charities.

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On-demand interactive video content

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Remarkable & relatable academics

Learn from some of the UK's finest and most decorated academics as they give you a genuine, insightful, and engaging experience of studying their courses at their universities.

Interactive quizzes and activities

Have a go at fascinating interactive quizzes and activities, then get meaningful and intuitive feedback from the academics to see how you've done.

Content to enhance students university applications

Hear direct from the academics what's expected of you in your university application, and the things you can do to improve your chances of getting on the course you most desire!

Certificate of completion

You'll receive a certificate of completion to evidence your learning - why not add this to your CV and university applications to show your dedication to your future pathway!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Subject Spotlight?

Subject Spotlights fuse education and entertainment to bring you the new way of researching your university options.

Entirely free and available on-demand, you can choose to engage with the content in the way that best suits you - whether that's in bite-sized chunks or in binge-sessions!

Why should I check out Subject Spotlights?

Get a real, representative impression of what pursuing a subject at university is actually like, so that you can make the right decision for you.

Stand out from the competition by completing a Subject Spotlight to gain the most relevant references and evidence for your personal statement.

Who is this Spotlight for?

This subject spotlight is made for students aged 16 and above, that are considering applying to University, particularly to study the subject in the title, or similar areas.

How should I talk about completing a Subject Spotlight on my UCAS application?

Completing a Subject Spotlight shows the university you're applying to that you've taken time outside of school to engage with relevant content.

The easiest way to include it would be to briefly mention one or two things you learned from it and how/why those learnings have furthered your desire to study the subject. We don't want to prescribe an answer because it's your personal statement but this is a good starting point!