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Personal Research

I am a Palaeoceanographer

As a palaeoceanographer most of the samples I work on have been collected during ocean drilling expeditions by the International Ocean Discovery Program (or DSDP/ODP, IODP’s predecessors). This vital program brings together scientists from all around the world to work together to tackle the big remaining unanswered science questions about our oceans and Earth’s history. Continue reading →

Grand Canyons

Terrestrial canyons like the Grand Canyon, USA are spectacular geomorphic features carved out over millions of years by river erosion. They can extend for many hundreds of kilometres, have a width of up to 29 Km, and be as deep as 6 Km. However, the submerged margins of continental landmasses are also host to huge canyons systems; the scale of which can rival canyons on land. These submarine canyons extend from the shallow shelf down the deep oceans, and are host to a wide diversity of life. Continue reading →

My Research – North Africa and the Oceans

During my PhD at Southampton I am researching how North African climate has varied over the last few hundred thousand years. With predicted changes in future climate it is important to understand how these may impact upon Africa. For example, it is possible that slower Atlantic Ocean circulation will lead to reduced rainfall in North Africa.  This could cause extended periods of drought, which could, in turn, lead to increased migration out of the region. 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 →

My path to a PhD

Hi everyone! My name is Vicki and I am a first-year PhD studying at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton within the Palaeoceanography and Palaeoclimatology research group. I have always been a naturally very curious person, with an interest in the environment and oceans. Continue reading →

Guest post from Gwen Owen Jones – Biomarkers: what can they tell us about the past?

Throughout this course, you are learning lots about how the ocean behaves today but have you ever thought about how it behaved in the past? Both Matthew and myself are Palaeoceanographers and this is precisely what we study: how the oceans and climate have varied throughout time. Hopefully over the remainder of the course you will hear a bit more about this subject from me, Matthew and some other members of our research group. Continue reading →

A guest post from Prof. Maarten De Wit, Nelson Mandela University

Last year Marten De Wit was hosted at Southampton and took part in the MOOC. Maarten is an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society and a Professor at Nelson Mandela University. He wrote a short post about his time here for the blog: As I travelled back from Southampton to my own university flanking the Indian Ocean (Nelson Mandela University) I came to appreciate and respect much better the global value of the NOC and the Ocean and Earth Centre of the University of Southampton. Continue reading →