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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 →

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 →

On board the James Cook, heading to some black smokers in the middle of the Atlantic

Last Summer , I took part in the most wonderful adventure of my scientific life (so far!) , two back-to-back cruises on a hydrothermal field located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (where the oceanic tectonic plates are formed and go apart). This field is the very well known TAG Hydrothermal Field. Photo: location of the TAG Hydrothermal Field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 26 degrees North. (Google Earth credit) The first cruise was on board a German ship, the Meteor. 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 →

Mapping the ocean’s depths

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the National Oceanography Centre and I did my PhD at the University of Southampton where I studied seafloor and habitat mapping.  I probably chose this field as the ocean for me represents an incredibly large area for which we know too little.  We either have a broad view of the processes occurring at the global scale or a very detailed understanding of a few specific habitats.  However for the most part, we still do not know what things (e.g. Continue reading →

Foraminifera: The tiny and mighty

This post is reproduced from a 2014 cruise blog: http://slidesinthedeep.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/big-things-in-small-shells.html   Contrary to popular belief, euphemisms, idioms and trite sayings often have little relevance to real life. Foraminifera on the other hand, lend credibility to the notion that big things do indeed come in small packages. Foraminifera are small, single-celled marine plankton; more specifically known as Protists. 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 →

How did you get a job like that?

I often get asked about my career path and I thought I would share my journey with you. The truth is my career has been one happy accident after another. I'm currently gainfully employed as a Research Technician in Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton. I have been within the department for 8 years now doing a variety of roles. It all began way back in 2004 when I took up a place to Study a BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Aberdeen. Continue reading →