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Journey Into The Unknown

First in our new series of posts from our students, mentors, facilitators and staff - this first post is from MSc Oceanography student Hannah Sharman: “What does it feel like to be an octopus? To be a jellyfish? Does it feel like anything at all?” So asks Peter Godfrey-Smith in his book, Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. Just one of the manifold obscure influences to feed my long-standing fascination with the oceans. Continue reading →

Trace metal in the ocean: less is more

Metals have been utilised by human beings since the Bronze Age, and 4000 years later they seem to be even more associated with the modern life. Mining (from land and controversially from seafloor) is the way we acquire metals, which include iron, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, and so on. These are called trace elements as they differ from the major elements (carbon, nitrogen, sodium, etc.) in terms of concentration or other measure of amount in the earth’s material. Continue reading →

#shrunkencupoff hashtag

For several months now, a trend among the marine scientists has appeared on Twitter. They started posting pictures of their Styrofoam cups that went for a "little" dive, symbol and souvenir of the memorable expeditions they just had. Go here and have a look at the best shrunken cups! What is it? A foam cup, a polystyrene cup, a Frigolite cup, a Styrofoam cup ... Or anything made of foam! They are designed, drawn, or/and signed (with waterproof pens) during a cruise. Continue reading →

Understanding cold-water corals

This post is a contribution from our guest Dr Katleen Robert, at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University, St John’s, NL, Canada. From May 15th to June 8th, I was lucky enough to participate in my 10th expedition at sea.  As part of the TOSCA Expedition composed of an international team of scientists, I boarded the RV Celtic Explorer in Galway, Ireland, and we left for the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone, approximately 1,500 km away in the middle of the Norther Atlantic. Continue reading →

ROV dives for dummies!

With the collaboration of the ROV Holland 1, the scientific expedition TOSCA, the Research Vessel Celtic Explorer, from the Irish Marine Institute ( , and some notes from Dr. Katleen Robert (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada).  Everything you always wanted to know – from A to Z about how to succeed a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) dive. Continue reading →

Guest Blog – Amanda Cheong (Singapore)

Hi everyone, I am Amanda and I would like to share a blog about my five-week internship at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (NOCS). It is my great pleasure to be given the opportunity to work with Prof. Richard Sanders (@OceanRics), Dr. Daniel Mayor and Ms. Stacey Felgate (@staceyfelgate). As a student at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, I worked on quantifying dissolved organic matter and how the composition changes along a land-to-ocean continuum. Continue reading →

How far are we from the deep ocean?

Human beings have held two dreams for long: to jump out of the world and to dive into the deep. Decades of exploration has gradually turned the brilliant dreams into reality. In the year 1960, the deepest part of the ocean - Mariana Trench (deeper than 10000 meters), was visited by two oceanographers. This marked the milestone demonstrating our capability to reach wherever we would like to reach in the ocean. Continue reading →

Redistributing marine biodiversity – guest post from Jamie Hudson

I’m Jamie Hudson, a Marine Biology PhD student at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK. My research looks at the role different factors have in redistributing marine biodiversity around our coasts, notably climate change and hybridisation. The ranges occupied by species are by no mean static- species are moving areas due to multiple reasons. There is a plethora of data that show our oceans are warming. Continue reading →

A brief history of ocean drilling (1/3)

Did you know the oceans are great story tellers?! Curators of Earth’s history. And by taking a peak below the seafloor we can reconstruct the history of submarine landslides, and volcanic eruptions, the pattern and rate of seafloor spreading, the climate enjoyed by the dinosaurs and the vegetation present when the humans took their very first steps on planet Earth. This week in the MOOC is all about looking forward; how we can work together to protect our oceans. Continue reading →