You are currently viewing Marine Biology – A Very Short Introductions Podcast – Episode 64 of the Oxford University Press Series<br>

Marine Biology – A Very Short Introductions Podcast – Episode 64 of the Oxford University Press Series

Oxford University Press has just released a podcast on marine biology that I did as part of its Very Short Introductions series.

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In this episode I introduce the subject of marine biology, a field whose importance is growing rapidly as our oceans undergo rapid and profound changes due to human influences.

Here is a link to the podcast:

You can learn more about my book Marine Biology: A Very Short Introduction here:

I begin the podcast by pointing out that ocean life provides benefits that are essential for human survival and well-being. For a starter, they produce half of the oxygen on Earth—to put this into perspective, the oxygen in every second breath we take was produced by life in the oceans.

But marine organisms do much more than this for us. They create ecosystems that protect our coasts from storms; supply us with large amounts of healthy food; provide natural products that we use for medicines and biotechnology; help moderate and stabilize the Earth’s climate; support many forms of recreation and tourism; and, to top it all off, create an environment that is immensely beautiful and spiritual for humans. The value of healthy marine life is thus incalculable—life on Earth as we know it would not exist without it. For these reasons alone, marine biology is a hugely significant and fascinating subject.

I then assert that now that Earth has entered the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which we as humans are significantly altering the global environment, the oceans are undergoing profound changes that are threatening their ability to provide such ecosystem and social services. As a result, the study of marine biology is taking on added importance and urgency as people struggle to understand and manage these human-caused impacts.

I devote much of my podcast to discussing some current marine biological issues that give the listener a flavour for the many challenges facing marine biologists in today’s world.