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‘Ocean vet’ to speak on adventures with sharks, whales, lionfish and more

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Bermuda’s own “underwater vet” Neil Burnie will be sharing about some of his exciting exploits beneath the sea during a one-hour lecture tonight at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI).

Attendees are being urged to “hold on for an exhilarating ride”, as Dr Burnie tells of his adventures with tiger sharks, whales, grouper, lionfish and other marine life.

He is also expected to give the public a preview to a proposed 12 show television series, scheduled to be filmed on the Island next year.

‘Ocean Vet Bermuda’ is the forth lecture in the Citizen Science Lecture Series, hosted by BUEI chairman Jack Ward.

Mr Ward said it would be an “eclectic” presentation, featuring an “extremely entertaining and varied character who is engaged in all matters and aspects of our marine environment”.

He said: “Neil is striving to put together a television series of his exploits on the ocean and he is going to give a preview I believe of many aspects of the work he has done as a citizen scientist out on the ocean, and some of these are species based, some are ecology and exploration.

“Don’t be surprised if there is music and video because [Neil Burnie] is an entertainer in his own right. He is one of the most talented characters and is just brilliant at whatever he does.”

Mr Ward described Dr Burnie as being energetic, dynamic and entertaining and said the lecture would give the public great insight into his work tagging sharks, swimming with whales, spearfishing and windsurfing.

“They will leave having been exposed to an awesome character and his wild experiences on the ocean,” he said.

“But he will also give them a really good perspective on how an individual that is motivated can contribute significantly to science, just by getting involved.

“He will wow people with how much energy he has to put into this and people will be quite taken by what he has been able to accomplish,” Mr Ward added.

Citizen Science allows research to venture out of the traditional laboratory setting and into the hands of ordinary people, who can collect data and develop technologies that help advance scientific studies.

BUEI believe that anyone who loves the ocean and is fascinated by it, can learn from not only professionals, but also the many deeply committed amateurs who do extraordinary things on the Island — and then participate in citizen science themselves.

The lecture series aims to highlight the institute’s philosophy for promoting and celebrating amateur exploration of science.

‘Ocean Vet Bermuda’ will start tonight with a cash bar at 6.30pm, with the lecture kicking off at 7pm. There will also be a limited number of special menus available at Harbourfront Restaurant, for $39.75, but patrons must book in advance.

Mr Ward expects tonight’s lecture to be a popular one and encourages people to reserve their tickets in advance.

Tickets, $25 for non-members and $20 for members, can be purchased by phoning 294-0204; extra tickets may also be available at the door.

Veterinarian Neil Burnie attaches a satellite tag to a large female tiger shark in this 2009 file photo.

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Published July 23, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated July 22, 2013 at 8:29 pm)

‘Ocean vet’ to speak on adventures with sharks, whales, lionfish and more

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