Chasing Coral

Thursday, 26th September, 2019, 21:00

Duration: ~2hrs

Venue: Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, Auditorium, Lisbon

Discussion: Pedro Frade and Miguel Costa Leal

Moderator: Catarina Pimentel


Do you remember little Nemo from the Pixar Studios? Nemo has lived all of his life at the beautiful Great Barrier Reef in Australia, which is home to more than 2600 species of corals, fish and other animals and its spread over an area that is three and a half times the size of Portugal. The Great Barrier Reef depicts a great example of an ecosystem breaking down with human influences resulting in a 50% decline in coral reefs in the last decades.

A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to capture the biggest story of our changing climate and its impact on coral reefs on film. Sundance award-winning film, Chasing Coral documents the tragic and elusive process of coral bleaching, a phenomenon happening at an unprecedented rate around the world from warming ocean temperatures. The film took 3.5 years to make, features 500 hours of underwater footage, and submissions from over 30 countries.

We are excited to host a special screening of Chasing Coral – the first event of a new Ar series ProjectAr on Thursday 26th of September, 9:00pm, at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown Auditorium. Together with the help of the marine biologists and coral reef experts Pedro Frade and Miguel Costa Leal we will continue with an open discussion and dive into the ecosystem of coral reefs and how it has become one of the most threatened ecosystems on Earth.

In the week where climate is in the spotlight with the Climate Week and the United Nations Climate Summit taking place, join us for this special event to raise awareness of climate change’s devastating effect on coral reefs and witness a journey of how Nemo’s home is falling apart.

The time is now, let’s watch, talk and act!

More about ProjectAr | Watch – Talk – Act

ProjectAr is a brand new spin-off of the outreach initiative Ar | Respire connosco. 

For the past eight years a group of scientists and science communicators at the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown have been exploring science from different angles with the public at large and this time the Ar team is crossing science with cinema! This new Ar series, ProjectAr | Watch – Talk – Act will link the screening of a film with an open conversation that will hopefully lead to action. 

Tickets are now available!

Eventbrite - Chasing Coral

 Pedro Frade is a researcher at the Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR) at the University of Algarve, and most of his work focuses on the ecology of coral reefs, including both the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. Pedro’s research aims to understand the role microorganisms play in the physiological, ecological and evolutionary processes of corals, namely in their capacity to adapt to a rapidly shifting climate. In 2016 he was in the field, studying the mass coral bleaching event that devastated the Northern GBR, when he met Jeff Orlowski, the director of “Chasing Coral”, and his team. Pedro will share his impressions on the movie and on the current state of global coral reef degradation. More about Pedro’s work here

Miguel Leal is a marine biologist who studied tropical corals during his PhD at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and at the University of Georgia (USA). After many years fully engaged with an academic career during which he had the opportunity to study Brazilian reefs, Portuguese marine coastal environments, and Swiss lakes, he founded a start-up focused on science communication (Scite – Science Crunchers).

 Despite being a Marine Biologist turned Science Manager, João always had an attraction for communication and humor (and Sharon Stone). He started doing science dissemination through stand-up comedy in 2011, when he joined the project “Save the World of Laugh Trying” (Cientistas de Pé), performing in several Portuguese cities. Since then, he has developed specific comedy content for institutional events, participated in charity actions, and comedy nights. João is also a member of a podcast (Não Penses Mais Nisso) and of an Improv group (Teatro Elástico). He is from Buraca.

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