Wednesday 19 November 18.00pm – 19.00pm
Katara Art Centre, Building 5 Katara
In conjunction with Qatari Natural Heritage Under the Microscope, UCL’s current exhibition at Katara Art Centre, we invite you to explore the fascinating biodiversity of Qatar in this presentation by Dr Aspasia Chatziefthimiou, Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar.
Highlighting the biodiversity of the natural flora and fauna of the Qatari desert, this presentation will take you on an ecological journey through Qatar’s sand dunes, mangroves, wadis, rawdats, sabkhas and intertidal zones.
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In the Spring of 2014 an interdisciplinary team was brought together by Mrs. Antonia Rosati, outreach officer at UCL, to create a community activity which bridged the arts and sciences. The focus of the activity was to highlight the biodiversity of the natural flora and fauna of the Qatari desert; use UCL’s state of the art scanning electron microscope to take pictures of desert organisms with the help of Mr. Philip Connolly; and enrich students’ understanding of their natural environment through its artistic representation with the guidance of artist Mariana Heilmann.
Dr. Chatziefthimiou, the science expert of the activity, is an Ecologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar. She belongs to a team of scientists that study the ecology of photosynthetic Cyanobacteria and the conditions under which they produce toxins, that if consumed or inhaled, can lead to degeneration of neurological activity in the human brain. This research work is supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and was showcased in the September issue of the QNRF Newsletter.
Dr. Chatziefthimiou is an enthusiastic educator, teaching short-courses in microbial ecology and leading tours in nature in both Qatar and the United States of America. She has a strong commitment to outreach efforts giving scientific talks to the public and participating in educational programs such as the present.
Dr. Chatziefthimiou will take us through a virtual tour across the Qatari desert ecosystems and recount ecological tales of the biological organisms that were used in this High School activity.