Dr. Jonathan Copley is a Senior Lecturer in Marine Ecology and Director of the Postgraduate Taught Programmes in the Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Chemosynthetic Environments Research Team and Scientific Associate at the Natural History Museum in London. Jon received his Masters degree and PhD in Oceanography from the University of Southampton. He then worked for the New Scientist magazine before accepting a position as a Science Coordinator at the Natural Environment Research Council Autosub Under Ice research Programme, in addition to a position at the University of Southampton. Jon has received many awards and honors during his career, including a University of Southampton Staff Achievement Award, the British Association for the Advancement of Science Charles Lyell Lecture Award, The University of Southampton Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award and Award for Postgraduate Training, as well as The Biosciences Federation Science Communication Award for Established Researchers. Jon is here with us today to tell us all about his journey through life and science.
Jon’s research explores the deep sea, far beyond the reach of scuba diving, to investigate the colonies of marine life that thrive in island-like habitats such as volcanic vents and whale skeletons on the ocean floor. Over the past 20 years, he has taken part in expeditions exploring undersea volcanic vents all around the world, investigated the seafloor earthquake zone that caused the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, studied hotspots of deep-sea life in the Gulf of Mexico, and worked on a project to send a robot submarine under an Antarctic ice shelf. Most recently, he went on the first manned mission to the world’s deepest known undersea volcanic vents, 5,000 metres down in the Caribbean, becoming the first British person to dive that deep. When not at sea, he is also co-founder of SciConnect, a company that trains scientists in how to share their research with wider public audiences.