Category Archives: Activities

Second Cruise of the BRITICE-CHRONO Project

The second cruise of the BRITICE-CHRONO project is now underway. RSS James Cook is doing a geophysics and coring survey for the month of July in the North sea and the continental shelf and fjords of northern Scotland and Shetland. The aim is to collect subsurface samples (vibro and piston corers) to then find shells and forams for radiocarbon dating which will be used to constrain the timing of retreat of the last ice sheet that covered Britain during the last ice age (27,000 years ago). We are currently surveying north of Cape Wrath passing over a spectacular series of moraines on the seafloor.

Live updates on ship position and occasional blogs can be seen on the project website. The project is funded by a NERC consortium grant (£3.7 M) led by Chris Clark in Geography.

Call for Presentations – UK Arctic Science Conference 2015


The University of Sheffield is hosting the UK Arctic Science Conference, 16th – 18th September 2015, with financial and administrative support from the NERC Arctic Office. This three day conference aims to bring together UK Arctic scientists of all natural and social science disciplines to present and discuss recent findings.

The Local Organising Committee includes:

  • Professor Grant Bigg (Chair, Geography, oceanographer and meteorologist)
  • Dr Gareth Phoenix (Deputy Chair, Animal & Plant Sciences, terrestrial ecologist)
  • Dr Andrew Sole (Geography, glaciologist and fjord modeller)
  • Dr Darrel Swift (Geography, long term landscape evolution/geology/geomorphology)
  • Dr Donatella Zona (Animal and Plant Sciences, biodiversity and geochemical fluxes)

The organisers welcome presentations on the following topics:

  • Terrestrial Biogeochemistry
  • Terrestrial Ecology
  • Arctic Oceanography
  • Ice-Ocean Interaction
  • Landscape Processes and Dynamics
  • Arctic Climate
  • Terrestrial Cryosphere: Snow and ice – past and present
  • Arctic Change – implications for society and culture

Abstract submission deadline: Friday 31st July 2015

Location: Richard Roberts Auditorium, The Richard Roberts Building, University of Sheffield

The University is also hosting two additional side meetings:

  • UK sea-ice group meeting (15th – 16th September)
  • The Challenger Society AGM (16th September)

For more information regarding all these meetings, see:

SMRF interactive workshop

This Sheffield Marine Research Forum event will be an interactive workshop centered around the following three questions:

1) Who are the end-users of my research and how do(have) they benefit(ed) from it?

2) What other disciplines/expertise would help to advance my research and how?

3) What are the biggest science/policy challenges in the marine environment in the next 10 years?

The aims are to:

– identify and take advantage of internal links to enhance collaborative research, interdisciplinary research funding and attract new people
eg., H2020 Blue Growth, interdisciplinary Fellowships, Studentships, Shine, etc.

– identify the scope and breadth of impact and end-users of our research
eg., to build new industry-policy links, which will immediately feed into invitations to outgoing/incoming visitors, a SMRF “by the sea away day”, website and a workshop in September (funded activities from accelerator grant)

– build the research/impact capacity to address major challenges in marine environmental research at Sheffield over the next 10 years
eg., Futures 2022 , long term Blue Growth strategy

Thu 27 Feb 2014 15:00 – 17:00
Alfred Denny Building Room D219 (Animal & Plant Sciences Common Room)

Coastal Futures 2014 – A two day crash course on all things related to Marine Policy!

Samiya Selim, Phd student in Animal & Plant Sciences, attended this exciting event bringing together marine policy makers and scientists.

Conference website

Samiya’s conference report:

Coastal Futures 2014 – A two day crash course on all things related to Marine Policy! I wished to attend coastal future conference 2014 as I was interested in learning more about current status of UK marine renewables. Specifically this would help with my PhD research on coastal ecosystem services. On a wider level this would also be useful to network with people  from backgrounds in marine policy, energy, economics and industry, and see how we can build collaborations as part of Sheffield Marine Research forum (SMRF).

On arrival what struck me was the presence of several consultancy firms, energy companies, and government agency representatives. There was good representation from University students and academics as well, but most of the people I spoke to were in industries related to marine agendas.

There was obviously a strong emphasis on policy, I felt I had a 2 days crash course in marine legislations, directives, frameworks and planning! I learned more about the MSDF, EU Frameowrk, water framework, CFP- old and new, quotas, discards, OSPAR, and marine planning than I have in my 2.5 years reading about it for my PhD. I found some of it quite useful and relevant, especially the ones that showed how the science was feeding into all these policies and the challenges and problems people faced. I used to think European waters already had so much research and plans in place, it surely can’t be that hard to implement policies. After this meeting I realized how challenging it must be here when so many countries are involved, each with their own agenda. I got a better understanding of what the MMO and IFCAs are actually doing on a practical day to day level, and the challenges they are facing with marine planning and implementation of laws.

There were some really good talks on how the science feeds into policy – on the use of plankton research and CPR data to identify indicators for MSFD. Talk by Alex Rogers on ‘The State of the Oceans Report’ again was informative on showing what was happening in different ecosystems and how this knowledge can be used to feed into policies. There were several talks on marine renewables, both off-shore wind and tidal and wave energy, which I found very useful.

One group that was not represented at all was from tourism and other industries related to tourism such as planning commission/urban planning around coastal areas. I feel they ought to be feeding into these networks as tourism and health benefits from being at the coast, walking groups/ramblers/nature trusts/ ought to have a say on marine planning and especially when deciding on indicators for GES.

I had the opportunity to speak with several of the speakers as well as other people from industry who attended the conference. I found very useful in terms of identifying people I can pursued further for information related to my PhD, as well as contacts for building future collaborations for SMRF. I am grateful to have received monetary support from the Accelerator Funds to attend this conference.

Guest Seminar on Marine Stewardship and Policy

The Sheffield Marine Research Forum will be hosting a special guest seminar on marine science-policy links entitled:

“Understanding Marine Stewardship & Potential Work Opportunities”

by Professor Paul Leonard
Marine Institute, Plymouth University & Former Head of Defra’s Marine Environment Science Unit

The seminar will take place in the ICOSS Conference room on Tuesday Nov 19th at 1:00pm.

The format will be a 30-minute talk with 30 minutes for group discussion.
We have planned to have lunch at 12:00 with Paul before the seminar.

Brief Biography:

Professor Leonard is a Founding Member of the Natural Capital Initiative. He was head of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Marine Environment Science Unit, where he supported a wide portfolio of research such as the instigation of the Marine Aggregate Levy Sustainability Fund, which included extensive biodiversity research in the English Channel as well as education & heritage components. Other work for Defra, included support for the development of marine diversity databases e.g. DASSH and support for government marine policies. His work has also included representing the UK internationally on the EU funded project COST – IMPACT which considered the valuation of ecosystem services in relation to fisheries. He has been a member of the NERC Peer Review College & Science Adviser to Department of Energy and Climate Change. Paul continues to work nationally and internationally and is especially interested in providing scientifically robust evidence to support environmental policy initiatives. He is a Professor at Plymouth University and an Honorary Professor at Brunel University.