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Science and sea monsters

A University of St Andrews fisheries ecologist is hoping to explain the hard science behind reports and legends of aquatic monsters at an exhibition next week.

In collaboration with Kendal Museum in Cumbria and Robert Holland of the Northwest (England) branch of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr Charles Paxton of the Research Unit for Wildlife Population Analysis is showing an exhibition entitled “Science and Sea Monsters” at the museum.

Organised as part of National Science Week, which runs from 8-17 March 2002, the event will peak on 15 and 16 March with demonstrations and lectures for school children and the general public.

Dr Paxton, who is writing a book on the subject in his spare time, says “The idea of the exhibition and demonstrations is to tell people about what science can really tell us about sightings of marine and freshwater monsters like the Loch Ness Monster. It also gives the opportunity to teach the public a little zoology and population ecology in a fun and interactive way. There will demonstrations of how scientists can estimate population numbers as well as showing how statisticians can even have a go at answering the question “How many species await discovery?”

The first day of demonstrations – Friday 15 March – is for secondary school groups while Saturday 16 March will see demonstrations for the general public and a free public lecture. For further details visit http://www.kendalmuseum.org.uk/Welc ome/What_s_On/what_s_on.html.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: seamonsters/standrews/chg/7march200 2

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