Submitted by kthall on

Welcome, fellow ocean enthusiasts, to the brand-new FMRI blog! I am Dr Kristian Thaller, the Programme Director for the Future Marine Research Infrastructure programme, and I will be trying to give you an insight into this programme as it develops over the coming years. In this post, I will be explaining why we in the FMRI team are so passionate about this programme and the critical importance of marine research infrastructure.

Our planet’s ocean covers more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and is at the heart of the global ecosystem. At a time when the ocean and polar regions are changing faster than ever due to the climate crisis, the ability to study the ocean will be critical to understanding and mitigating its catastrophic environmental, societal and economic impacts.

Shoal of fish in the ocean

The UK has a proud tradition of oceanographic research and even lay claim to the birth of oceanography as a scientific discipline. For almost 70 years the UKRI Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has provided UK marine scientists with the necessary infrastructure to be world leaders in ocean science. Recognizing the urgent need to further our understanding of the ocean and protect this vital ecosystem, the Future Marine Research Infrastructure programme was born. This ambitious initiative aims to deliver a new generation of cutting-edge infrastructure and collaborative networks to propel marine research to unprecedented heights and meet the challenges of the future.

I hope you are equally excited by the possibilities it holds for the future of marine research. From cutting-edge technology to international collaboration, this initiative can transform our understanding of the oceanic realm and propel us toward a more sustainable future. So, let us embrace the spirit of exploration, unite our efforts, and together we can unlock the mysteries that lie beneath the surface of our blue planet. The ocean awaits us with boundless discoveries, and the Future Marine Research Infrastructure Programme is our gateway to unveiling its secrets.