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biology

In a Sea of Stars

                  Today's guest blog post is from my good friend and office mate Christina Wood. Christina will tell you all about herself and the work she does, take it away Christina... I am a PhD student studying at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. In March 2017, I participated in a cruise to the Barents Sea to assist researchers as part of the ongoing MAREANO project. Continue reading →

Why getting dirty is good for all of us

Darwin extolled the virtues and dedicated his last works to it, few places on Earth are without it, and there is little doubt that human well-being benefits tremendously from it, but what is bioturbation?   It is sobering to think that at any time of day or night an army of invertebrates actively modify the soils and sediments beneath our feet, something that they have been doing for millions of years and which most people take for granted. Continue reading →

Limpets – My Favourite!

People often ask "So what do you work on?" and pre 2012 whenever I replied "On Limpets" they would get very excited and say "What the OYLIMPICS!!!" and I would then get a barrage of questions about how to acquire tickets!!! Thankfully since London 2012 that's all calmed down a bit. My lovely limpy, limpy do da's - that's the limpet song which can be heard being sung on rocky shores up and down the country by people dressed in rubber! Its a glamorous  job. Continue reading →

Polar marine biology

This week the course focused on marine life. How diverse, abundant and adaptable it is. However, there is one region where life has to deal with extra challenges. A changing light system, from 24 hours of sunlight to complete darkness for months, harsh sub-zero conditions and changes to the composition of seawater from the freezing and thawing of ice. This is of course the Polar Regions (Arctic in the north and the Antarctic in the south). Continue reading →

Emma Cavan: How did I become involved in Ocean Sciences?

I am currently doing a PhD in the ocean carbon cycle however my aspirations at 16 were somewhat different! I grew up in a house of medics and this limited my career pathway knowledge and hence I applied for degrees in medicine. I was quickly rejected from most of the universities I applied to and to this day I am incredibly grateful! It was clear medicine wasn’t something I was passionate about but I knew I didn’t want an office job and so biology seemed the obvious choice. Continue reading →

Which came first in whales: extreme breath-hold diving or large body size?

While preparing some size-comparisons of marine life for Week 3 of our free Massive Open Online Course on "Exploring Our Oceans", I was particularly struck by how whales are astounding animals. An adult blue whale can have a body mass of ~150 tonnes. That's around twice the body mass estimated for the largest known dinosaur ever to walk the Earth, and equivalent to the body mass of around 2000 people (i.e. the population of a village, perhaps). Continue reading →