Michael Sars Centre jellyfish unveiled at the Bergen Aquarium

June 25, 2024

Bergen Aquarium has unveiled an innovative installation called "Havet i endring" or "The Changing Ocean," designed to transport visitors on a journey beneath the ocean's surface. The large 1200L tank displays Aurelia aurita jellyfish raised at the Michael Sars Centre at the University of Bergen by Alexandre Jan, Staff Engineer in the Burkhardt group. Maintaining fragile marine animals in captivity requires dedicated techniques, with many pioneered in the animal facilities at the Michael Sars Centre. In the future the animals, gifted as part of an ongoing collaboration with Bergen Aquarium, will be replaced by the ctenophore or comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi, the main model organism used by the Burkhardt group. “It’s a great sign that Bergen Aquarium reached out to us, as it highlights their trust in us and acknowledges our expertise.

Bergen Aquarium has unveiled an innovative installation called "Havet i endring" or "The Changing Ocean," designed to transport visitors on a journey beneath the ocean's surface. Within a 360° immersive room, members of the public were surrounded by captivating images and sounds of the sea, spanning from the surface to the depths. Through a blend of organic noises produced by marine life together and sounds of human activities underwater, the exhibit aims to raise awareness of anthropogenic impacts on a world we still know very little about.

Complementing the cutting-edge production, a new aquarium was installed across from the immersive room. The large 1200L tank displays Aurelia aurita jellyfish raised at the Michael Sars Centre at the University of Bergen by Alexandre Jan, Staff Engineer in the Burkhardt group. Maintaining fragile marine animals in captivity requires dedicated techniques, with many pioneered in the animal facilities at the Michael Sars Centre. In the future the animals, gifted as part of an ongoing collaboration with Bergen Aquarium, will be replaced by the ctenophore or comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi, the main model organism used by the Burkhardt group.

Showing these mysterious animals in the new exhibit will help us better understand the diversity of life while highlighting the need to protect it. - Pawel Burkhardt

“We are excited and also a little bit proud to see our jellies be part of this new exhibit,” said Group Leader Pawel Burkhardt. “It’s a great sign that Bergen Aquarium reached out to us, as it highlights their trust in us and acknowledges our expertise. Showing these mysterious animals in the new exhibit will help us better understand the diversity of life while highlighting the need to protect it”.

During her speech at the ceremony, Bergen Mayor Marit Warncke stressed the importance of developing strong collaborations between researchers, the general public, and the industry to address the challenges faced by our oceans.

The importance of partnering with the Aquarium to exchange ideas and knowledge about how to culture delicate marine organisms is a central focus within both the Burkhardt group and the Centre. "We are able to take part in public outreach, get people interested in local marine animals, and connect to the aquatic network here," said Alexandre Jan.

Aquarium Curator Thomas Østerhus, Group Leader Pawel Burkhardt and Staff Engineer Alexandre Jan.

Photo:

Marion Lebouvier

"I think the jellyfish ctenophore aquarium is the perfect eye-catching entrance to our new exhibition,” said Aquarium Curator Thomas Østerhus.”  The Aquarium has really enjoyed working with the Michael Sars Centre and appreciates all the help we have received.  We are looking forward to see what we can do in the future!"

The source of this news is from University of Bergen

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