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Citizen Science

Can you help the Convex Seascape Survey find the last remaining, intact, undisturbed soft-bottom seabed habitats on the world’s continental shelves?

We need your help

The Convex Seascape Survey is a pioneering collaboration of world-leading experts working to understand blue carbon stored in the coastal ocean floor, to harness the power of the sea in the fight against climate change. We’re looking for healthy soft-sediment ecosystems to study, and the more information we have, the better, so please get involved!

You don’t need specialist knowledge to participate, just insight or experience with seafloor habitats anywhere in the world. We’re hoping to hear from a range of sea-users, from recreational scuba divers to yachting communities and employees from offshore industries. Simply follow the steps below, and send us underwater photographs or video footage of what you believe to be healthy, intact, and undisturbed soft-sediment seabed.

Follow these steps to take part in the survey!

What does an undisturbed soft-sediment seabed look like?

This habitat consists of fine sediment, so look out for sandy or muddy areas that have a lot of different plants and animals. On soft-sediment, this may not be as obvious as on a bright coral reef. Delicate species such as sponges, brittle stars, starfish, sea squirts, sea cucumbers, and bivalves are good indicators that a site is undisturbed.

Likely sites of interest:

  • places with conservation measures such as a marine reserve or protected area.
  • exclusion zones around oil and gas rigs.
  • places reserved for military exercises.
  • areas that fishing boats might avoid, such as, around shipwrecks.

Avoid sites that:

  • Have high boat traffic close to ports, harbours, or shipping channels.
  • Are contaminated with pollution e.g. plastic, oil spillage or sewage input.
  • Show evidence of destructive fishing activities. Trawled or dredged habitats can be identified by tracks left embedded in the sediment.
  • Are adjacent to busy and heavily populated towns or cities.
The photo on the left shows a healthy, undisturbed seafloor with sponges, hydrozoans, seaweed and plenty of fish species in the water column. The photo on the right shows the same area two days after a dredge fishing vessel fished in the area. Photo source: Howard Wood

Please include with your submission the time and location of the observation. We accept any method used to collect underwater photographs or video footage, such as:

  • Diver operated videos (DOVs) including underwater cameras such as GoPros
  • Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
  • Remote underwater videos (RUVs)
  • Towed Video Systems (TOWVs)

There are no wrong submissions, so if you are unsure whether a seabed you have seen is suitable, do send us your photos or videos anyway! For any questions please reach out to research lead Annabel Kemp –

Flat rocky shelves protruding from vast plain of white sandy bottom with blue water above. Location: Leigh New Zealand

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
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)

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