Public Aquariums and Human Health and Well-being

Deborah Cracknell

National Marine Aquarium/Plymouth University

I am the Lead Researcher at the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth, UK, and have just completed a part-time PhD in Environmental Psychology. Having worked at the National Marine Aquarium for 18 years, including as a Senior Biologist, I am particularly interested the effects that viewing marine biodiversity can have on human health and well-being. I have a small number of peer-reviewed articles, the most recent of which attracted extensive media coverage, both in the UK and abroad (Marine Biota and Psychological Well-Being: A Preliminary Examination of Dose–Response Effects in an Aquarium Setting - Cracknell et al., 2015).I am a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) Research Committee and have presented my research at various conferences, including the BIAZA AGM and the International Association of People-Environment Studies this year. In June 2016, I was also selected to present findings from my PhD research at the All-Party Parliamentary Zoos and Aquariums Group meeting.


Many people visit public aquariums for entertainment and educational purposes, yet evidence suggests that some people also gain health and well-being benefits from visiting these attractions. Previous research has found that... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Deborah Cracknell (National Marine Aquarium/Plymouth University)
  2. Sabine Pahl (Plymouth University)
  3. Mathew White (European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter)
  4. Michael Depledge (European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter)

Topic Area

Topics: Symposium


OS-F1 » Tourism, Animals and the Natural World: Part II (11:30 - Tuesday, 4th October, Tavolara Room, Santa Chiara Complex)

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