My research as a marine biologist explores the patterns of life in deep-ocean environments, which cover most of our planet and face increasing impacts from climate change, pollution, and extraction of resources. By studying island-like seafloor habitats such as hydrothermal vents, my work investigates ecology ("who does what"), biogeography ("who lives where"), and evolution ("who is related to whom") in the deep ocean.
I'm based at the University of Southampton, and I'm also a Scientific Associate of the Natural History Museum in London and a National Geographic Explorer. My work includes advising policymakers on the protection of deep-sea habitats, and I'm currently an Advisory Board member for the international Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI).
My experience in ocean exploration includes planning and leading expeditions aboard research ships, using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Human-Occupied Vehicles (HOVs), and discovering new species of deep-sea animals. As a "bathynaut", I took part in the first dive of a human-occupied vehicle to the world's deepest known hydrothermal vents, 5 km (3.1 miles) down on the ocean floor, and the first human-occupied vehicle dives to reach 1 km (0.62 miles) deep in the Antarctic.
In the public engagement part of my role, I work with documentary-makers to share the exploration of the deep ocean with people worldwide, for example as a science advisor and onscreen contributor for BBC Blue Planet II, and I routinely interact with news media to raise awareness of deep-sea issues and my team's discoveries.
I'm the author of the book Ask An Ocean Explorer and have published more than 100 bylined "popular science" articles in outlets such The Guardian, Nature, and New Scientist, where I was previously a full-time Reporter and Assistant News Editor. I often talk about exploring the deep ocean at public events and festivals, and I'm a recipient of the Royal Society of Biology Science Communication Award for Established Researchers and the British Science Association Charles Lyell Award Lecture for Environmental Sciences.
Outside my University role, in 2006 I co-founded SciConnect Ltd with colleagues in science journalism, creating a capacity-building company that has trained more than 15,000 scientists in how to communicate their work with wider audiences. I have worked as a Director of the company as it has developed training programmes for clients including research institutions, funding bodies, government agencies, NGOs and companies across the UK and in Europe.
For more info, please see www.joncopley.com