Undaria Gorse of the Sea
earned Emma Grose 2nd place in the Living World section (yr7-8) and the Best Environmental Exhibit.
Emma is 12 year old from Bohally Intermediate, who first took an interest in the seaweed when she went looking for it with her father when it was first noticed in the Marlborough Sounds.
The aim of Emma's project was to find out Undaria's growth rate and to see if it was effecting other sea life. First Emma did some research reading about the new Asian seaweed invader.
Then she tagged 10 plants at each of three sites and measured the length of the plants every week for about 8 weeks.
From this she was able to calculate the average growth rate of the plants. At each site Emma also marked out a one metre square quadrates to compare the amount and variety of other sea life where Undaria was abundant to Undaria free sites.
Emma learned that as a young small plant Undaria grows at a rapid rate and reduces the variety of other species in the same area. She feels the seaweed will become a big problem in the future.
Emma got help from her father, NIWA and the Department of Conservation.
Some help hints she has for others starting a science investigation are "think of original ideas early, make sure you follow the scientific method, and gather as much data as you can".