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Professor of Polar Oceanography, The Open University

Mark is a polar oceanographer who obtained his PhD from Cambridge University in 1995. His career has led him to spend long periods on field work in the high Arctic and Antarctic and his professional interests span three wide areas: academic research in polar science, award winning innovative teaching and the public understanding of science.

His teaching is in the environmental sciences and he has written several textbooks and prepared teaching materials at all levels of higher education. He is particularly interested in using technology to enhance the experience of remote learners. To date he has been awarded three Open University Teaching awards and, in November 2012, was honoured with the Times Higher Education Award for "Most Innovative Teacher of the year".
Mark is very interested in knowledge exchange and he has worked on several landmark television series including as Principal Academic Advisor to the BBC Frozen Planet series, BBC Planet Earth and BBC Blue Planet among others. He also writes a blog called Mallemaroking (the word means “the carousing of sailors on icebound Greenland whaling ships”!)

In the 21st century it is easy to leave footprints online so here is a clip of a BBC News interview Mark gave on the Larsen C Ice shelf in January 2017; this is a TEDx talk Mark gave called What the Poles are Telling us About our World from 2013, and this is a clip of Mark teaching his children how to make a balloon car for a science experiment as part of The Royal Institution (UK) ExpeRimental series.


  • –present
    Reader in Polar Oceanography, The Open University
  • 1995–2000
    Research scientist, British Antarctic Survey


  • 1995 
    University of Cambridge, PhD


Times Higher Education Most Innovative Teacher of the Year 2012