Marine Institute and NUI Galway PhD student to speak at Soapbox Science this weekend

Catherine Jordan. Picture Andrew Downes, XPOSURECatherine Jordan, a PhD student through the Marine Institute's Cullen Fellowship Programme and NUI Galway, will take part in 'Soapbox Science' on the weekend. Female scientists will take to their soapboxes and bring science to the streets of Galway from 12pm – 3pm at the Spanish Arch, Galway on Saturday 29th June.

The third annual Soapbox Science event in Galway, will see twelve female scientists talk about their ground breaking research in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. Catherine Jordan will speak about her PhD research on using satellite technology to observe and identify phytoplankton blooms in North-East Atlantic waters.

Ms Catherine Jordan said, "When conditions are right, phytoplankton appear in high numbers and produce green and dark red hues in the water and are known as 'algal blooms'. As these blooms can sometimes be visible from space, satellites provide a useful tool in monitoring the location and extent of these blooms. In most cases phytoplankton blooms are of benefit to the ecosystem, but a small proportion of phytoplankton species produce toxins which may affect other marine life.

"Satellites may be able to assist in providing early wide-scale warnings of the presence of algal blooms, by using ocean colour sensors. A lot of my research focuses on measuring optical properties of light by using different instruments and methods, as well as validating satellite measurements."

Catherine Jordan recently joined the Marine Institute's annual ocean climate research survey on the RV Celtic Explorer to collect plankton samples and hyperspectral radiometer data, as part of her PhD research.

Speaking about her participation in the Soapbox Science event Ms Jordan said, "I am very passionate about my field of science and also promoting how women can work on marine research vessels and spend weeks at sea. It is very important to engage the public in learning about marine science in interactive ways in order to explain very complex matters. Soapbox Science is an excellent platform for promoting women in science and encouraging the public to discuss topics they may not have encountered before."

Talks at Soapbox Science Galway will cover a diverse range of topics such as enhancing farming using insects, the marvels of human milk, the internet as a force for good, and statistical thinking for real-life questions.

Soapbox Science is a novel global public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and their research. The event encourages everyone to enjoy, learn from, question, probe, interact with and be inspired by female scientists who will share their latest discoveries and answer science questions. Soapbox Science will also be held in Dublin and Cork, and events will be taking place at several countries around the world, including the UK, US, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Brazil and South Africa.

Soapbox Science Ireland events are organised by Dr Jessamyn Fairfield at NUI Galway and Dr Dara Stanley, UCD (formerly NUI Galway). Soapbox Science Galway is sponsored by NUI Galway's Office of the Vice President for Research.

For the full list of participants and more information about Soapbox Science visit:

For more information on Catherine Jordan's talk visit: