On the site of the historic Lambeth Marshes wildlife now struggles to survive. The central London reach of the tidal Thames offers a particularly challenging environment with its hard, vertical walls, turbulent tides, wash from river traffic, and changing composition of fresh and salt water. The removal of pollutants from the river is nevertheless encouraging the return of fish, birds and even seals. This in turn increases the need for habitat for the invertebrates and particularly the microorganisms that support the food chain.
Dr Loraine Leeson, artist and Senior Research Fellow in Media, Arts and Design, has been working with biophysical chemist Dr. Nithin Rai and staff from the Faculty of Science and Technology to examine microscopic life in this part of the river and create new habitat for organisms through micro reed beds constructed along the hull of the Tamesis Dock barge. If successful, the idea could be adapted for use elsewhere on urban rivers.
Come for drinks on the evening of 15 September, hear why the biodiversity of urban rivers is so important and walk through projections of those microorganisms that inhabit this stretch of the river. Watch out for Daphnia, Desmids, Diatoms, Euglena, Melosira, Pediastrum, Rotifers and colonies of Asterionella.
7:30pm, Tuesday 15 September 2015
Tamesis Dock barge, Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP
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The project has been funded by the Western Riverside Environmental Fund, which re-directs revenue from landfill tax for environmental purposes.