Why do we need a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development?

Oceanography is a relative newcomer to the long list of recognised disciplines studied by scholars across the planet.  We oceanographers assert that the first true ocean science was carried out in the mid 19th century. In 1872 HMS Challenger set sail from Portsmouth on the world’s first global oceanographic expedition. These early ocean scientists were often Naval officers serving on lengthy expeditions to far flung parts of the globe. Continue reading →

Cold-Water Reefs: A Hidden Winter Wonderland

Guest Blog by Laura Anthony, Florida State University. Originally published on the Reefbites website. For many, the word reef conjures up images of snorkeling in bath-temperature water above vibrant corals and fishes next to a sunny beach. Yet there are more species of corals that illuminate the wintery waters of the deep sea, forming habitats that rival the colors and biodiversity of shallow-water reefs. Continue reading →

The First Iceberg

Guest Blog from Dr Amber Annett a NERC Independent Research Fellow within Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton at the University of Southampton. Every expedition is full of firsts. First cruise with these colleagues, first time on this ship, first time in that location, first time collecting this type of sample or running that analysis on board. Continue reading →

A puzzle from the past

If we take part in a road trip (while we miss this at the moment), do not fall asleep. See the rhythms of nature. Every single rock has a story. A virtual tour: chalk cliffs vs. basalt columns South England's coastline features chalk cliffs. Chalk is made of skeletons of coccoliths. They sank down on the seafloor from the sunlit waters above. The 100 meters cliff shows a 100 million years history - peaceful deposition during the Cretaceous followed by dramatic movement of land and sea. Continue reading →

Hot vents, cool people

If you dive into the deep, you may find the ocean not as dark/silent as you thought. Back to the year 1977, a group of scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution saw photos of shimmering water drifting out of the seafloor along the Galapagos Rift. This was the first discovery of a hydrothermal vent, and it has since changed our understanding of the planet. Continue reading →

Professor Maarten de Wit: 1947-2020

We are hugely saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Maarten de Wit on 15th April 2020.  Professor de Wit held the Chair of Earth Stewardship Science at Nelson Mandela University and was a Visiting Professor at the University of Southampton. He was a great thinker, an outstanding geologist, a visionary Earth steward and a good friend.  Our thoughts are with his family, students and collaborators from around the world at this difficult time. Continue reading →

Exploring our ocean during lockdown

We are running our free online course, Exploring our Ocean during lockdown to support those of you home schooling young people (remember those under 13 must be accompanied by an adult learner please), to support those of you who, like me, miss the ocean and want to share images, memories, and our passion, to support our growing community of learners commited to expanding ocean literacy across the globe and changing behaviours and policies to sustain our future. Continue reading →

Every silver lining has a touch of grey

If you had told me a year ago that I would be answering questions on the Equations of Motion in a physics exam, or preparing a geophysical survey report for a proposed wind farm – well, I would have said that you were mad. I do not consider myself a scientific kind of girl. Building businesses, growing assets and marketing brands is more my vibe. Yet here I am. With a head saturated with scientific knowledge and newly grey hairs. Continue reading →