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 →

Journey Into The Unknown

First in our new series of posts from our students, mentors, facilitators and staff - this first post is from MSc Oceanography student Hannah Sharman: “What does it feel like to be an octopus? To be a jellyfish? Does it feel like anything at all?” So asks Peter Godfrey-Smith in his book, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. Just one of the manifold obscure influences to feed my long-standing fascination with the oceans. Continue reading →

Trace metal in the ocean: less is more

Metals have been utilised by human beings since the Bronze Age, and 4000 years later they seem to be even more associated with the modern life. Mining (from land and controversially from seafloor) is the way we acquire metals, which include iron, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, and so on. These are called trace elements as they differ from the major elements (carbon, nitrogen, sodium, etc.) in terms of concentration or other measure of amount in the earth’s material. Continue reading →

#shrunkencupoff hashtag

For several months now, a trend among the marine scientists has appeared on Twitter. They started posting pictures of their Styrofoam cups that went for a "little" dive, symbol and souvenir of the memorable expeditions they just had. Go here and have a look at the best shrunken cups! What is it? A foam cup, a polystyrene cup, a Frigolite cup, a Styrofoam cup ... Or anything made of foam! They are designed, drawn, or/and signed (with waterproof pens) during a cruise. Continue reading →