Discovering ocean processes


The global ocean remains the least known component of our blue planet 'Earth', even though it extends to over 95% of the space in which life occurs and is a key planetary life support system.

From the beginning of our organisational history in 1884, a major strand of our research has therefore been to grow our fundamental knowledge of the physics, chemistry, geology, and biology of the marine environment. Blue skies discovery science remains a core component of our research.


A major strength of SAMS is our long established multidisciplinarity that allows us to work in-house across marine physics, chemistry, biology, geology and more recently social science and economics to study entire marine systems - such as the Arctic, the North Atlantic or the deep sea. We have a strong team of physical oceanographers that study how waters mix and currents flow. Our marine geologists, chemists and microbiologists study how important elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen move through the ocean and between marine life and water, atmosphere, cyrosphere and the seabed. Ecologists and modellers study how ecosystems work and test how well we understand marine life from the individual to the global perspective.