Intro: SEAS Programme Blog

A whale in Lofoten. Photo credit: Bart Van Meele / Unsplash

Just recently, World’s Ocean Day celebrated the manifold value of the ocean in our lives. Events around the globe highlighted the commitment of protecting the sea and responsibly managing marine ecosystems. With this background, today, we are launching the official blog of the SEAS programme.

SEAS is aimed at training future research leaders for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas, and marine resources. We are an interdisciplinary group of postdoctoral fellows at the University of Bergen, Norway who aim to deliver high-quality research with a positive, on the ground impact. Our goals are healthy marine ecosystems and equitable livelihoods.

Humans have lived both by the sea and from the sea for over a hundred thousand years. Up until very recently, we did so largely in a way that sustained healthy marine ecosystems. However, in the past century we’ve seen what some call “The Great Acceleration”[1] — a simultaneous and dramatic surge in growth rates across the use of our planet’s resources. All of the life under the water and on the coast — from marine migration routes to spawning events, from coral reefs to mangrove forests — is affected by humans. Our activities, including plastic, noise, and light pollution, among others, have long term effects we are only beginning to understand.

In turn, SEAS will bring 37 postdoctoral fellows together to tackle some of these pressing issues along the coast and in the sea. We each approach marine sustainability from within our own fields with the goal of interdisciplinary collaboration: from mathematics to geography, from physics to biology, from chemistry to policy and beyond. Upcoming blog posts will focus on a variety of topics, from highlighting the research of individual fellows, to sharing successes and failures of postdoctoral research experience.

If you are a marine scientist, an ocean citizen, or just someone curious about the ocean, we invite you to follow for more!

[1] Steffen, W. et al. (2015). The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration. The Anthropocene Review, 2(1): 81-98.