Josh Allin: How did I become involved in ocean sciences?

Me aboard the RV Celtic Explorer with seismic survey equipment (2013)
Me aboard the RV Celtic Explorer with seismic survey equipment (2013)

Hi, I’m Josh and I’ll be one the facilitators here on the Exploring our Oceans MOOC.
My journey into Earth and ocean sciences began at A level Geography, where I became interested in physical geography and geology. This led me to undertake a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) degree in Earth science at University College Cork. While at UCC I studied many different disciplines of Earth science, including oceanography, geology, climatology and palaeontology. As part of the degree we got to visit loads of interesting places, and even went as far as the sunny south of Greece, where we some saw exceptional geology and some ancient Greek ruins from nearly 3000 years ago. The degree was great fun and Cork is a fantastic place to study science.

Me on Svalbard in the high Arctic, on a field course at UNIS (2014)
Me on Svalbard in the high Arctic, on a field course at UNIS (2014)
Ancient Greek ruins near Corinth (2013)
Ancient Greek ruins near Corinth (2011)
In the lab at the British Sediment Core Research Facility - BOSCORF, NOC (2013)
In the lab at the British Sediment Core Research Facility – BOSCORF, NOC (2013)

This degree led me into a Masters (M.Sc) degree at Trinity College, Dublin focussing on environmental sciences. This degree encompassed aspects of coastal and estuarine science, hydrology, environmental chemistry and environmental change. My M.Sc thesis involved the study of marine geology and geochemistry, as well as marine micropalaeontology, to better understand the dynamics of marine sedimentation from glaciated margins along the west coast of Ireland. For the the residential field trip we got to spend a week in the sun near Faro in Portugal, where we visited coastal, estuarine, and lagoon environments. We even got to tear across the lagoon in a powerboat

Panorama of the Italian Appenines - A great place to study marine geology (2013)
Panorama of the Italian Appenines – A great place to study marine geology (2013)
Powerboat sailing in a lagoon near Praia de Faro, Portugal (2012)
Powerboat sailing in a lagoon near Praia de Faro, Portugal (2012)
A sea arch near the Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland (2011)
A sea arch near the Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland (2011)
At the Corinth Canal in Greece as part of final year research (2011)
At the Corinth Canal in Greece as part of final year research (2011)

Following on from my masters, I gained a NERC funded Ph.D position here at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton, focussing on marine geology and submarine geohazards. My research evaluates the frequency of large submarine landslides within open slope and submarine canyon settings, and the role of climate and glacial cycles in the triggering of these landslides. My research has taken me to Norway, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, The Arctic, The Irish Sea and to the North Atlantic aboard the research vessels Celtic Explorer and Pelagia. Oceanographic research is an exciting field with many opportunities for excursions and exploration. I hope you enjoy the course as much as we do.

The research vessel Pelagia. Our home for the July 2014 cruise to the North Atlantic
The research vessel Pelagia. Our home for the July 2014 cruise to the North Atlantic (Netherlands, 2014)
Me with the science crew aboard the Pelagia in the North Atlantic (2014)
Me with the science crew aboard the Pelagia in the North Atlantic (2014)
All kitted out in survival suits for the boat rip from Isfjord Radio to Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
All kitted out in survival suits for the boat trip from Isfjord Radio to Longyearbyen, Svalbard (2014)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *