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Eat responsibly

Dear MOOCers, the past six weeks has been a wonderful journey. I learnt so much from your questions and comments and hope that the same holds true for you as well. Before we finish this module, I would like to give you my own piece of advice on how to help protecting the oceans. As a biologist I am going to focus on the living organisms that inhabit the oceans, and specifically fish. Most of us eat fish on a regular basis. Continue reading →

Best of cruise blogs

Dear MOOCers, in alignment with week 5's material, I thought it would be a good idea to add some links from past cruise blogs. In these, you will get to know more about life onboard the ship and the various research activities undertaken during a cruise. Hope you find it interesting! 1. Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory - Discovery Voyage 032 2. Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry Blog (various cruises) Continue reading →

Etymology of some words used during Week 2

Hello everyone,   the idea for this post came from one comment I read during week 2 the course. A learner, Mike Charleswoth Finch, was asking why in modern English we use the word haline, instead of saline, to refer to the thermohaline circulation. Professor Rachel Mills replied "past estimates of saltiness came from titration of the halogens (halides in ionic form), and the word is derived from the Greek for salt. The word saline is derived from Latin for salt!". Continue reading →

Paris Stefanoudis: what do the oceans mean to me

Hello fellow MOOCers,   today I am going to tell you a bit about what the oceans mean to me. This is also part of your activities for the first week of Exploring Our Oceans (1.8. “What do the oceans mean to you?”), and I have to admit that I am astonished by the different perspectives and views people have for this wonderful “habitat”.   Waves Figure 1. The power of waves.   Waves are in perpetual movement. They shape the coasts around the world. Continue reading →

Life on board – Paris

What would an oceanographer be, without participating at least on one research cruise? That was my thought when I started my PhD in January 2013. As the samples for my project had already been collected before I started my studies at NOCS (National Oceanography Centre, Southampton), the prospects of going on board and explore the oceans were rather dim! Or so I thought... Continue reading →


Hello MOOCers, today I am going to tell you a little bit of what I am doing in my PhD and my main activities throughout the day! 1. FORAMS (a.k.a. Foraminifera) Figure1. Best of Foraminifera My main aim is to look at how topographical features such as abyssal hills ( affect benthic Foraminifera (those that live on the seabed). Continue reading →

Cutest sea creatures

After I looked at which marine animals give me goosebumps , it is time to explore the opposite. Let's check out the cuties of the oceans: 1) Dumbo octopus (Grimpoteuthis): Apart from Dumbo being one of my favorite cartoons ever, this octopus is nothing short of beautiful. Looking at the video (see below) its movements are so elegant and remind me of a small baby. If I was a shark I would leave this possible meal in peace!   2. Continue reading →

Scariest sea creatures

1. Blobfish Looks harmless, but I do not know what I would do if I found a "brain" swimming next to me... 2. Frilled shark Look at those teeth. And the killer look! 3. Giant squid Just compare the size of the scientists and that of the squid. It's called giant for a good reason. The fact that the pic is black and white makes it even more terrifying (like a Hitchcock movie) 4. Vipefish Thought to put the angler fish, but looking at that picture I changed my mind. 5. Continue reading →

What does the ocean mean to me?

Hello everyone! I am going to share with you some pictures from the oceans which are representative for me. My area of expertise is the deep-sea so I am going to focus on that. Next week it will be your turn to tell us what the oceans mean to you! Although a scientist myself, when I hear the words "deep-sea" I find it hard not to think of the angler fish. Of course, this truly vast environment has much more to display, but the angler fish is nevertheless iconic. Continue reading →