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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 →

What do the oceans mean to me?

It has been asked in the first week to describe the oceans from your own point of view. Here below is what they mean to me. For me, oceans are MYSTERY. Light disappears rapidly in depth, after 1000 meters, it is the absolute darkness, deep and unknown. I chose this picture of a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) surrounded by this obscurity. Thanks to it, light is brought in the most obscure parts of our planet, and discoveries are infinite.  (Image credit to NOAA ) For me, oceans are LIFE. Continue reading →

What does the ocean mean to me?

Immediately my mind jumps straight to Cula Bay, Benbecula. My beach, well I say mine, it’s for everyone but its where I spent my whole childhood and this summer I’ll be taking my own baby boy there for the very first time and I can’t wait. If I close my eyes I can feel the sand under my toes and the sun on my face, the dark stormy days of winter and the sound of the crashing waves as the Atlantic Ocean comes battering down on the shore. Continue reading →


Hello! My name is Matt, I’m a first-year PhD student here at the National Oceanography Centre Southampton and am looking forward to being one of the facilitators for the ‘Exploring our Oceans’ MOOC. During my time in Southampton I’m studying the climate of North Africa and how it has varied over the last few million years. Continue reading →

What The Oceans Mean To Me

As a climate scientist, it would be an obvious choice to write about how the oceans for me are an integral player in the climate system and a vessel for recording past climate change. Instead, I thought I’d share some of my favourite pictures of the oceans and what they mean to me. One of the most well-known ocean features is how they cover about 71% of our planet, a fact that, when put in perspective and you realise how vast they actually are, is always truly staggering. Continue reading →

What does the ocean mean to me?

Growing up near the Jurassic Coast means the sea features quite frequently in childhood memories. We are very lucky in the UK that for the most part you are never very far away from a coastline. Coastlines represent a striking physical example of how powerful and dynamic the oceans are and provide a continually changing yet persistently important environment. Continue reading →

Hi There!!

I’m Dr Josh Allin, a marine geoscientist and former PhD student at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton. My research focusses on the processes that transport sediment within the world’s oceans, particularly submarine landslides and turbidity currents. Submarine landslides and turbidity currents are one of the most voluminous sediment transport mechanisms operating on our planet. They are also the principal mechanisms transporting sediment into the deep ocean. Continue reading →

What does the ocean mean to me: Josh Allin

Hi everyone Given that your first task is to give us examples of images which you feel best represent the oceans, here are a few which I feel highlight their significance. 1. Cliffs of Moher, Ireland Few places give us a more spectacular view of the influence of the oceans on Earth. Over millions of years they shape the continents through the processes of erosion and deposition, redefining landmasses and providing one of the most important environments we have – Coastlines. 2. Continue reading →