Your underwater journey is just getting started… you’ll find out why the ocean is so important in the fight against climate change.

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Healthy oceans help combat climate change

A quest for new discoveries

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The ocean plays a vital role in the Earth’s carbon cycle. It holds 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere and currently, captures around 25% of the carbon emitted by burning fossil fuels. To help solve the climate crisis we need to understand how carbon is stored in the ‘seascape’ and seafloor.

Introducing the Convex Seascape Survey

Understanding the ocean carbon sink

The survey is an ambitious, five-year global research programme developed by project partners: Blue Marine Foundation, University of Exeter and Convex Group Ltd. World-leading experts will investigate and quantify carbon storage in coastal seas around the globe. The carbon capacity of these vast areas is currently unknown.

Questions the research will address:

Where is blue carbon stored, when did it get there, where has it come from?

What is the role of marine plants and animals in carbon capture and storage?

Are blue carbon stores under threat from human activities?

We will survey coastal seas around the world

Coastal seas stretch from the shore to a depth of 200m and make up around 7% of the ocean’s surface, that’s about 10 million square miles (27 million km²). Investigating carbon storage in coastal seas will help us fully understand the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle and its ability to slow climate change.

What we know about carbon capture in the ocean

It starts with phytoplankton

Trillions of plant-like organisms called phytoplankton use energy from the sun for photosynthesis. They capture 3-5% of global atmospheric carbon annually, and have produced over half of the oxygen on Earth.

Phytoplankton 200x Zoom

The ocean’s primary food source

Floating near the surface, these microscopic phytoplankton capture carbon dioxide. They absorb the carbon and release the oxygen as a byproduct back into the sea. Plankton are either eaten, or sink to the seafloor when they die, helping store carbon in sediment.

Zooplankton are primary consumers

Zooplankton are tiny marine animals that rise to the surface at night to devour huge quantities of phytoplankton. They in turn are eaten by other sea creatures, and the carbon in their bodies is passed along the food chain.

Big fish eat smaller fish

As carbon passes through the food chain, some of it is excreted as faeces that sinks into the ocean depths. This circular process of consuming, excreting and sinking continues until all the captured carbon reaches the seafloor.

Whales are key to the carbon cycle

Over their long lives, whales accumulate enormous amounts of carbon in their bodies. They travel huge distances, spreading their carbon and other nutrients around the world’s oceans, stimulating the growth of phytoplankton and promoting the capture of more carbon dioxide.

A baleen whale can absorb as much as 33 tonnes of carbon dioxide in its lifetime.

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Whales are huge carbon stores

When whales die their bodies and the carbon within them sink to the ocean floor. They become food for seafloor creatures and the carbon is locked away in the ocean sediments.

Life on the seafloor plays its part

Animals that live in and on the seafloor, such as clams, oysters, worms and brittle stars, work together to transport the carbon from the overlying water into seafloor sediments.

Carbon can be stored for hundreds of years in a healthy seafloor

When animals and plants die, the carbon they contain gets mixed and moved around the seafloor. Ultimately it gets buried in ocean mud and, if left undisturbed, will remain locked away.

a partnership between

The Convex Seascape Survey will deliver new, reliable, open-source data and outreach, to educate, inspire and enable informed decisions on ocean use, to harness the power of the sea in the fight against climate change.

A partnership between

The team

Stephen Catlin
Chairman and CEO
Project Chair
Rachel Delhaise
Head of Sustainability
Steering Committee
Ashley Stockwell
Chief Marketing Officer
Steering Committee
Charles Clover
Co-founder and Executive Director
Steering Committee
Clare Brook
Chief Executive Officer
Steering Committee
George Duffield
Steering Committee
Gabriella Gilkes
Seascape Survey
Programme Manager
Jo Coumbe
Jo Coumbe
Communications Director
Communications and Outreach Lead
Gail Fordham
Seascape Survey
Grant Manager
Emma Nicol
Marketing and Communications Officer
Social Media
Victoria Turner
Education Lead
Education Programme
Anna Hughes
Education and Outreach Officer
Education Programme
Hannah Le Brocq
Development Manager
Education Programme
Professor Callum Roberts
Professor of Marine Conservation
Chief Scientist
Professor Dan Charman
Pro Vice Chancellor
Project Champion
Professor James Scourse
Professor of Physical Geography
Lead Researcher (WP1)
Chloe Severn
Seascape Survey
Project Manager
Irene Christophers
Seascape Survey
Dr Ceri Lewis
Associate Professor in Marine Biology
Lead Researcher (WP3)
Dr Adam Porter
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Researcher (WP3)
Dr Ruth Thurstan
Senior Lecturer in Marine Social-Ecological Systems
Lead Researcher (WP2)
Dr Jamie Shutler
Associate Professor of Earth Observation
Lead Researcher (WP3&4)
Dr Kristian Metcalfe
Lecturer in Marine Conservation Science
Researcher WP3
Professor Tim Lenton
Director, Global Systems Institute
Researcher WP2
Dr Paul Halloran
Associate Professor
Researcher WP2
Dr Tom Roland
Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography
Researcher (WP1)
Professor Rod Wilson
Professor of Integrative Animal Physiology
Researcher (WP1)
Dr Richard Tennent
Senior Research Fellow
University of Exeter
Dr Zoe Roseby
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Researcher (WP1)
Dr Ben Harris
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Researcher (WP3)
Dr Dan Ford
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Researcher (WP1)
Beatriz Arellano-Nava
PhD Student
University of Exeter
Dr Julie Hawkins
College of Life and Environmental Sciences
Researcher (WP2)
Mara Fischer
PhD student
Researcher (WP3)
Tara Williams
PhD student
Researcher (WP3)
Annabel Kemp
Graduate Research Assistant
Researcher (WP2)
Professor Martin Solan
Professor of Marine Ecology
Researcher (WP3)
Professor Jasmine Godbold
Professor of Marine Ecology
Researcher (WP3)
Professor Carlos Duarte
Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division
Researcher (WP3)
Dr Sophie Ward
Research Fellow
Researcher (WP1)
Dr Sarah Bradley
Earth Scientist
Researcher (WP1)
Professor Jack Middleburg
Head of Geosciences and Earth Sciences
Researcher (WP1)
Professor Tim Smyth
Head of Science - Marine Biogeochemistry and Observations
Task Lead (WP2)
Professor Pennie Lindeque
Head of Science: Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
Researcher (WP2)
Dr Vassilis Kitidis
Marine biogeochemist
Researcher (WP2)
Professor James Fishwick
Head of Operations and Technology
Researcher (WP2)
Dr Karen Tait
Microbial Ecologist
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Dr Sarah Breimann
Analytical chemist
Researcher (WP2)

The partners

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