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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 →

Oceans Movies!

As we approach the end of Week 2, and the weather has been so awful this week, I thought you might appreciate a list of ocean based movies from a selection of PhD students here at NOCS. These are in no particular order, and are a mix of documentaries and fiction. Some are all about the ocean, some focus on natural disasters, and some focus on the significant threats to the ecosystem from human activity. Continue reading →

The future of renewable energy

Renewable energy technologies are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. It is a well known fact that currently governments throughout the world are exploring the various possibilities of renewable energy, seeking for the best way to incorporate them into their total energy budget. But still, questions such as feasibility and cost remains. First, let's review some of the common renewable energy which are suggested today: 1. Continue reading →

Freshwater Injections

Hello MOOCers! It has been a very interesting week 2 on the MOOC, and we have seen a lot of debate about tidal power, and how structures like the Severn Barrage would affect the estuary and wildlife, versus the potential "green power" benefits. It has also been quite a different week with the content, a little bit of maths, congratulations to everyone who gave it a go, and don't forget you can download the PDF with the answers from FutureLearn. Continue reading →

Pretty Polychaetes!

Paris has already written about cutest sea creatures now I want to showcase the beauty of polychaete worms... For those of you unfamiliar with polychaete worms (bristle worms), they are segmented worms generally found in marine environments from shallow coastal waters to deep-sea abyssal plains.  On each body segment of a polychaete worm there is a pair of fleshy protrusions called parapodia, these bare many bristles called chaetae. Continue reading →