QBI researcher basks in the glow of a BAFTA award

3 May 2017

A virtual reality film involving a UQ researcher has been awarded the British Academy of Film and Television Arts 2017 award for Digital Creativity.

Professor Justin Marshall, who leads the Queensland Brain Institute’s sensory neurobiology group, accompanied Sir David Attenborough in a submersible to film the 360-degree David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive VR.  

The virtual reality experience drew crowds at the Natural History Museum in London, the Australian Museum in Sydney, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra, and the Trondheim Science Museum in Norway.

The film was the first virtual reality production to ever be awarded a BAFTA.

Professor Marshall, who is a neuroscientist and marine biologist, said the timing of the award was bittersweet.

“It was an honour to work with Sir David Attenborough and the team at Atlantic Productions,” said Professor Marshall. “But since filming, the Great Barrier Reef has been affected by two severe bleaching events, an unprecedented two years in a row.

“The reef will never be the same again in my lifetime – it will take decades to regrow. We have the responsibility to preserve it for our children.”

In 2015, Professor Marshall was also a scientific advisor on the BBC’s three-part Great Barrier Reef documentary series, narrated by Sir Attenborough.


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