What to expect from Blue Planet 2 – The Big Blue

My name is Elin and I’m a fourth-year MSci Marine Biology student at the University of Southampton. Like Kieran, I’ve been following the Blue Planet 2 series with great enthusiasm, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the theory we’ve learned in lectures come to life in wonderful HD. With this in mind, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the natural spectacles we might expect to see in the upcoming Blue Planet 2 episodes, starting with The Big Blue. Continue reading →

A brief introduction to microplastics

The word microplastic has slowly but steadily crept up in scientific literature over the past couple of years. These small and near invisible pieces of plastic have created quite a name for themselves, along with a lot of confusion around what they are and how they may be damaging the environment. Public awareness to help reduce plastic use is an excellent way forward but not all of the information feeding this movement is based on sound evidence. Continue reading →

Guest Post – Tabitha Pearman: How the online MOOC ‘Exploring Our Oceans’ led me to do a PhD at NOCS

Understanding our oceans is the key to ensuring we learn to protect them. Through education and increased awareness the hope is we can inspire more people to want to study our oceans. Tabitha is a second year PhD student based in the School of Ocean and Earth Science at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton,  modelling deep-sea canyon habitats, and she is here to tell you how she ended up doing a PhD….. Continue reading →

Blue Planet | Episode 3 | Coral Reefs

It is difficult to disagree that coral reefs are of global importance – the most biodiverse, the most colourful, and often associated with tropical paradise. As well as aesthetic beauty, reefs possess huge biological and socioeconomic value. They are the primary source of food for up to a billion people, act as natural storm barriers, bring in millions via tourism, have potential in medical research and provide a nursery for species from all over the rest of the ocean (1). Continue reading →

Hurricanes & Coral Reefs

Hello! My name is Adeline and I’m a third-year PhD Student (already!) at the NOC. I have been a MOOC facilitator for over a year now, and I’m learning lots of weird and wonderful things thanks to all your very thoughtful questions. If you're curious about what I am doing (four words: Hydrothermal vents and mineral resources). Continue reading →

Preparing for life at sea

How many sample bags do you need for a six-week research cruise? How much ‘blue roll’ (like lab kitchen roll I guess) should we pack? How many permanent markers is too many? Answers: far too many to count and in every size imaginable; 48 rolls to be precise but we might pick up a few more on the way just to be safe; and apologises, we may be responsible for a temporary permanent marker shortage in Southampton. Continue reading →

Blue Planet 2 | Episode 2 | The Deep

It amazes me that a programme that has immortalised lecture content from my degree has become the most-watched British television programme of the year. Two years after being totally captivated by Dr Jon Copley’s lecture about the ecology of deep sea hydrothermal vents, whale falls and trenches, he was directly involved in helping the BBC bring these same environments to the public’s attention. Continue reading →