Become Ocean

Issue 62 January 2021

The changing acoustic environment of the Arctic

Dr. Kate Stafford is a Principal Oceanographer at the Applied Physics Lab and affiliate Associate Professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington in Seattle. She has worked in marine habitats all over the world, from the tropics to the poles, and is fortunate enough to have seen (and recorded) blue whales in every ocean in which they occur. Stafford’s current research focuses on the changing acoustic environment of the Arctic and how changes from declining sea ice to increasing industrial human use may be influencing subarctic and Arctic marine mammals.

Jason deCaires Taylor’s Underwater BioCulture Sculpture at the Museo Atlantico, Lanzarote Island

A leading figure in art and ecology, John K. Grande is author of a range of books that include ‘Balance: Art and Nature’ and ‘Art Space Ecology’. In this article he discusses the work of sculptor and environmentalist, Jason deCaires Taylor, in particular his major project Museo Atlantico, a collection over 300 submerged sculptures and architectural forms in Lanzarote, Spain, the first of its kind in European waters. His pioneering public art projects are not only examples of successful marine conservation, but works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world.

Washed Up

Alejandro Durán collects the international trash washing up on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and transforms it into aesthetic yet disquieting art works that wake us to the threat of plastic pollution. Through photography and installation, his long-term project “Washed Up: Transforming a Trashed Landscape” examines the fraught intersections of man and nature, revealing the pervasive impact of consumer culture on the natural world. He also engages audiences through community-based environmental art-making and speaking engagements.

Seafloor currents sweep microplastics into deep-sea hotspots of ocean life

Ian Kane is Reader in Geology, University of Manchester. “I’m interested in how sediment, including mineral grains, organic fragments and anthropogenic material (such as microplastic), is moved across Earth’s surface and where it ends up. My main focus is on deep-marine environments which are the ultimate sinks for much of this sediment.”

Michael Clare is Principal Researcher in Marine Geoscience, National Oceanography Centre. His research interests include understanding how onshore sediment transport systems link to those in the deep sea, characterising seafloor geohazards, quantifying the rate and flux of deep sea particulate transport (including pollutants) over timescales from minutes to millions of years, assessing risks posed to globally important seafloor infrastructure, such as telecommunications cables and pipelines, by submarine geohazards, linking modern seafloor processes with ancient geological archives through integration of direct monitoring, repeat seafloor surveys, and sedimentary analysis and exploring novel tools to monitor seafloor hazards.

A theatre project explores collective solutions to saving the ocean

Dr Kira Erwin is an urban sociologist and senior researcher, at the Urban Futures Centre at the Durban University of Technology. Her research and publications focus largely on race, racialisation, racism and anti-racism work within the urban context. Her past projects explore narratives of home and belonging within the context of migration, gender and inclusion; as well as state delivered housing projects in the city. She is currently working on Lalela uLwandle with a team of researchers and civil society organisations to think through how people’s economic, spiritual, scientific and symbolic meanings of the sea should be part of ocean governance decisions. Her projects make use of creative participatory methods, and she collaborates with colleagues in various creative fields to produce forms of public storytelling that extend research beyond the walls of academia.

Arctic Ocean: why winter sea ice has stalled, and what it means for the rest of the world

Jonathan Bamber is Professor of Physical Geography, University of Bristol. His main areas of interest are in applications of satellite remote sensing data in the polar regions. More specifically, he has been working on the use of remote sensing data to study the behaviour of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets, glaciers and ice caps in the Arctic, Patagonia and to use these observations to test and/or improve climate and Earth System models. He is also using satellite and ground based data to investigate past and present variations in sea level.

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth’s last frontier

Suzanne OConnell is Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University. She studies Antarctic paleoclimate using marine sediment cores from IODP (International Ocean Discovery Program). This is to understand how Antarctica has changed in the past, information that will help researchers to understand and model future climate change. Her current research focuses on Antarctic climate change using sediment cores from the Weddell Sea, Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 113. She has authored or co-authored over 60 refereed publications and edited the JOIDES Journal as well as ODP Initial Reports and Scientific Results. In 2015, she co-edited and co-authored the book “Women in the Geoscience: Practical, Positive, Practices Toward Parity”

A tropical fish evolved to endure rising temperatures – but it may not be fast enough to survive climate change

Rachael Morgan is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ecophysiology, University of Glasgow.
“I am an ecophysiologist who studies temperature effects on fish. My research focuses on understanding how fish are able to acclimate or adapt to rising temperatures and determining the underlying mechanisms of thermal performance and thermal tolerance.”