The lungs of our planet

Today is Oceans Day at the climate change negotiations conference, COP21, in Paris. It’s really important not to forget how much we rely on the ocean. It’s a major source of food, a massive oxygen producer, soaks up huge amounts of excess carbon and houses 80% of all life on earth. We’d be pretty stuck without it….

“Not for the faint-hearted” – Living Blue Planet Report 2015

Here’s a snapshot from the opening pages of the WWF-ZSL ‘Living Blue Planet Report, 2015’. Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, warned readers of the 2014 Report that it was “not for the faint-hearted”. This one isn’t either, but it’s important that we fully appreciate the state of the ocean so we can understand…

Charismatic megafauna and societal concern for the non-fluffy animals

‘Charismatic megafauna’ is the academic term for the cute animals, particularly mammals, which capture people’s hearts and are used to help bring home conservation messages. Chances are you’ll be able to get a fluffy version of them all in toyshops. Tigers, pandas, lions, Great Whites, polar bears, wolves, dolphins. You get the idea. Big, charismatic, famous…

5p plastic bag charge – for the oceans

As of today, you’ll have to pay 5p for a bag in most shops, and people, including me, will probably grumble about it at some point when they get to the checkout and realise they have no bags. The papers have pushed the importance of reducing the 8.5 billion plastic bags that were given out…

Speaking in schools: what I’ve learnt so far

Towards the end of my first year at University I joined the Royal Geographical Society Geography Ambassadors Scheme, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done at Uni. At school I had attended lots of talks by visiting speakers or students who had done exciting things during or after their school years. These talks were…

Who doesn’t want to tweet a shark?

I’ve recently discovered the great white shark research being done by the scientists at OCEARCH, and keeping up with the great whites of the world has become a bit addictive. Global data on mature great whites is lacking and this project is helping to fill the knowledge gap. Sharks are tagged, measured and assessed on a…