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The ocean and transport

Dear All We have considered the role of heat and salt in ocean transport, and we have discussed how much water there is, and why it is important for our global climate, in addition to this weeks topic addressing some of the diversity, and size of populations within the ocean. We will soon be taking another direction on the course, looking at how we interact with the deep ocean, and the potential economic benefits of exploiting the mineral wealth held there. Continue reading →

PhD “Life”

Hi all, Given that the topic of landslides came up during week 1 of the course, here is a little about my daily work on submarine landslide deposits. First of all, how do we learn about submarine landslides? Seeing as the ocean is so large and we can't really have any cameras permanently on the ocean floor with which to observe them, we have to primarily look at their aftermath (i.e. the material they leave behind). Continue reading →

PhD Life: Millie

This week we are sharing a little about life as a PhD student at NOCS, so here is a run down of a typical day for me! Feel free to ask me questions! Most days start with a little reading over some coffee, a large part of the first year involves getting to grips with the science, and getting to know the material. I try to read for a good hour or so before I head into work, then make some notes and follow up on the references. Continue reading →

#UoSmorestars or #UoSmoremicrobes?

  As a starter for this week, we are asking you whether you think there are more stars in the sky, or more microbes under the sea (FutureLearn). According to calculations, the global ocean contains approximately 4.4 x 1028 living microbial cells. (For anyone not familiar with notation such as 1028, 4.4. x 1028 means 44000000000000000000000000000 living microbial cells, or forty-four octillion if you prefer!). 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 →

Can divers breath liquids to reach greater depths?

Hello MOOCers, Some of you might wonder, why is it that with modern technology, diving equipment companies can't come up with a new diving system that will allow divers to go as deep as an ROV, right to the bottom of the deepest trenches?. Well, this blog might answer your question. Jacques Yves Cousteau once said: "The future diver will be able to move freely from the ocean surface to its depths, while he breath liquids". Continue reading →

Severn Barrage Vote

Good Evening MOOCers! Our most popular discussion this week has focussed on the proposed tidal barrage for the River Severn. Topical and controversial, this plan has been debated for over 30 years, though its first proposal was in 1849, and at the moment, has stalled. The most recent plan was that proposed by Halfren in 2013, an improved version of their 2010 plans, however the project has never been given the green light, largely due to the environmental impact. Continue reading →