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If Oceans Could Speak

Science Podcasts

We share diverse perspectives on the oceans around us, raise awareness of ocean change, and foster a collective connection to the blue planet. This podcast has been a personal project for a small team of researchers, united through the EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy and through their passion for ocean advocacy. We hope you enjoy listening! www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu


United Kingdom


We share diverse perspectives on the oceans around us, raise awareness of ocean change, and foster a collective connection to the blue planet. This podcast has been a personal project for a small team of researchers, united through the EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy and through their passion for ocean advocacy. We hope you enjoy listening! www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu




Blanca Moreno-Dodson: the past, present and future of an integrated Mediterranean



Lisa Sofian and Nabil Aouad: On a mission with SWIM LEBANON

In this eighth episode of ''If Oceans Could Speak'', we are delighted to have Lisa Sofian and Nabil Aouad with us, who show that arts, sports and ocean activism go hand in hand. In this episode you will learn about the Sustainable Waste Intercity Marathon’s creation (SWIM), and its development into a nation wide beach cleaning campaign, bringing together - almost spontaneously - over 2700 people from local communities, researchers, activists, civil society, and more! In addition to their sports activities, SWIM is combining their efforts with “Chance Association” which works closely with kids that have cancer and blood disorders, in order to raise awareness about the importance of a healthy environment for us humans as well! Follow these inspiring stories, and concrete results, in this Arabic episode moderated by Vera. Learn more: https://www.swimlebanon.org/


Stefano Pedone and Mattia Borroni: Sustainable food, tradition and innovation around the Italian Coasts

Have you ever wondered what it means to eat sustainably on the Mediterranean coasts? Today's episode explores this question from an Italian perspective with our guests Stefano Pedone and Mattia Borroni. Stefano is a marine biologist and project officer at Worldrise association and Mattia is a chef in his own restaurant, “Alexander”. Both young ocean lovers at heart, our guests followed different walks of life to join forces in promoting the consumption of sustainable, local seafood in the regional cooking world of Italy. Both are involved in Worldrise’s SEAstainable initiative and Meroir project carried out in the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Liguria. We tap in to their personal and professional experiences around cuisine, environmental protection, and sustainable fisheries. From the need to create a new sensitivity to sustainable food from the ocean in the public and to bridge the gap between old and new generations in the field, this episode also reveals the importance of bringing traditional, small-scale fishing traditions back and re-discovering “lost” local products and flavours, in order to eat more sustainably on the Mediterranean coast. Learn more at: Worldrise SEAstainable Meroir Alexander restaurant (Ravenna, Italy)


Federico Morisio: Connecting professional sports with ocean literacy

Sports are without a doubt a vital component that shapes our connection with the ocean. Yet, when talking about ocean literacy and ocean conservation per se, we tend to think less about professional sportsmen, sportswomen, and athletes. We were therefore delighted to discuss with Federico Morisio about the place professional sports has, and should have, in promoting ocean literacy. Federico is a 26-year-old professional windsurfer. Internationally recognised, he won, among other, the international IWT Pacasmayo Wave Classic 2017, being nominated "Most Improved Rider 2017" and finishing the International Windsurfing Tour 2018 in 4th place overall. He is passionate about sustainability and how to improve through life to become a better person. Next to his competitions, he is therefore engaged in a variety of projects where he tries to lead by example including the EU4Ocean Youth4Ocean Forum ('Mediterranean Young Ocean Advocate'), Marevivo Onlus ('Cavaliere del Mare'), the 'Starfish Champion' initiative of the European Commission and Starboard ('ocean ambassador'). Thank you Federico for sharing your unique connection to the Mediterranean Sea and for kicking off the discussion on ocean literacy and sports! Learn more at federicomorisio.com


Greg Lecoeur: Telling stories from under the sea

In our fifth episode, we reach the French Mediterranean coast and Greg Lecoeur, who shares with us his journeys, his experiences with marine wildlife, the power of images and how raising awareness begins with individual actions. A lover of the Mediterranean Sea since early childhood, Greg became interested in marine biology and diving at a very young age. At the age of 32, with a diving instructor's certificate in his pocket, he sold his company and lived his dream: a year around the world with his camera. Since then, Lecoeur has dedicated all his time to his passion for the marine world. Greg was National Geographic's Photographer of the Year in 2016 and has been honoured with many other international awards ever since, including the recent Underwater Photographer of the Year in 2020. By telling the oceans' stories, Greg aims to raise awareness everywhere he goes, talking to communities about the preservation of underwater ecosystems and sharing the stories of local heroes that do their part to enhance ocean literacy each day. His next quest: documenting his home - the Mediterranean Sea! Learn more here: https://www.greglecoeur.com


María del Carmen García-Martínez: Empowering women in marine sciences

In our fourth episode, we will go to Spain to talk to María del Carmen García-Martínez, who is a researcher and director of the Spanish Oceanography Institute in Malaga. Among her many commitments, María Carmen is involved in Océanicas, a project that visualises the role of women in oceanography. Pursuing a career in science can still pose many challenges to women, but maybe even more so in a very masculinized territory such as the sea? María Carmen will explain to us the 'leaking pipeline' problem, sexual harassment on the sea and what needs to be changed in marine science to achieve real gender equality. Along the way, we will discover how María Carmen entered a marine science career herself, how she moved from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Sea, the challenges she observed with regard to human activities and her overall connection to the sea. Finally we will talk about Oceanicas, a project that highlights the role that women have played and still play in marine science. Learn more here: https://oceanicas.ieo.es


Jina Talj: Invasive species and other fishy things!

As we are surfing the Mediterranean, we come across our dear guest Jina Talj, a marine ecologist, founder and executive director of the Lebanese NGO 'Diaries of the Ocean'. In this third episode, Vera interviews Jina Talj to learn more about the Mediterranean marine environment, with a particular focus on the Invasive species actions related to the NGO's lionfish campaign. You don’t know what invasive species are? No problem, you can tune in to learn about what they are, where they come from, how/why they are harmful to our Mediterranean ecosystems, and how we can reduce their numbers. A summary on the journey towards the successful “Eat the lionfish'' campaign, with funny anecdotes along the way! Diaries of the Ocean works closely with local communities on many other aspects of the sea, such as supporting women in the fishing sectors, increasing transparency in the nascent oil and gas sector, and increasing Ocean Literacy among the youth. They also have released two seasons of their own podcast, “Talk of the Ocean” and “Talk of the Energy”. Learn more here: https://diariesoftheocean.org/


Lefteris Arapakis: building solutions together with the fishers.

Today we dive into the turquoise waters of Greece, where innovative solutions and traditional fisheries are working together to make a difference to the people and the environment of the Mediterranean. In our first full length episode of this season we meet Lefteris Arapakis, a young social entrepreneur and the 2021 UNEP-MAP Ambassador for the Mediterranean Coast. Lefteris talks to us about Enaleia, a social enterprise he co-founded with a mission to make the marine ecosystem sustainable by tackling both overfishing and plastic pollution. Lefteris immerses us in his journey - from Enaleia's beginnings as a fishing school to the fully-fledged organisation that it is today. Enaleia now works alongside 1500 fishers in 28 ports (and growing!) to clean up plastic from the sea and integrate the material into the circular economy, all the while enabling extra income, education and employment for fishing communities. This episode reminds us of the power of local engagement and how solutions can - and need to be - built together! Thank you Lefteris! Learn more here: https://enaleia.com/


Mediterranean stories across borders: introducing this season's multi-lingual hosts and episodes

Building on the Mediterranean’s rich cultural identity, this season we will be multi-lingual featuring stories in French, Italian, Spanish and Arabic. To capture these voices, we have new hosts on board that help us dive into these new perspectives and communities. In this episode, we will introduce our new hosts and navigate together the first waters of this season, learning more about the people behind the voices. What is their relationship with the sea? What makes the Mediterranean special? What stories will they uncover? Listen to this brief introduction to the new season and get excited to set sails with our hosts. The Mediterranean Sea truly is full of inspiration and untapped potential. It is time that we listen to it! Click here for more information/plus d'information/معلومات اكثر/maggiori informazioni/más información. Find out more at www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu and connect using #EU4Ocean and #IfOceansCouldSpeak


Season 2 - Trailer

We are delighted to reveal that If Oceans Could Speak is returning with a new and exciting second season. After our first season highlighted the mighty Arctic Ocean, this summer we are heading south - to the shores of the majestic Mediterranean sea. The Mediterranean brings new ideas, cultures, voices, and a whole new line-up of hosts and guests to bring this truly diverse part of the world to life, no matter which language you speak. With episodes spanning English, French, Italian, Arabic and Spanish languages, tune in to listen to sport stars, scientists and gourmet chefs who are mobilising communities to make a difference to the sea around them. Click here for more information/plus d'information/معلومات اكثر/maggiori informazioni/más información. This podcast is an output from The EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up, inclusive initiative aims at uniting the voices of experts and enthusiasts to make the ocean a concern of everyone. Find out more at www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu and connect using #EU4Ocean and #IfOceansCouldSpeak


Dr Victoria Qutuuq Buschman: Arctic indigenous knowledge for Arctic conservation

We have reached the final episode in our Arctic-focused series of If Oceans Could Speak. And what a finale it is! Today’s conversation is with Iñupiaq Inuit and conservation biologist Dr Victoria Qutuuq Buschman. Victoria joined us from her office in Nuuk, Greenland, just a few days before her journey to the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. Victoria describes, so wonderfully, the relationship between her Inuit community and the Arctic Ocean, its sea ice and its whales, and explains how these experiences led her on her path to become the first Iñupiaq doctor of conservation biology. Victoria champions indigenous knowledge and the unique contributions it can bring to Arctic science and governance at all levels. With Victoria’s experiences, we explore a multitude of critical topics around indiginous knowledge, its meaningful inclusion within Arctic science and policy, and the narratives, conversations and exchanges we should be having to better understand and support Arctic people and wildlife in the face of climate change. Victoria's words and insights are essential. To explore more, do not miss her blog and webpage: https://www.victoriabuschman.com/


Kimberly Aiken: Be the change

Today’s conversation is with Kimberly Aiken, Research and Policy Associate for the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC). Kimberly previously worked on Arctic issues as a Policy Intern with the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany and on the Polar and Climate Programme at GRID-Arendal in Norway. We are delighted to hear her perspective on both poles! In her refreshing and poetic way, Kimberly retells the journey to her polar career so far, the idols that inspired her, and the actions that keeps her hopeful. We talk to Kimberly about the social and human dimensions of environmental change in the Arctic. She passionately reflects on the importance of expanding diversity and inclusion efforts in all areas of polar research and policy, from traditional knowledge systems to supporting youth from all backgrounds. Kimberly’s compelling and profound words speak of optimism and hope both in the face of change and through the power of change. Kimberly’s article: https://www.thearcticinstitute.org/trailblazer-arctic-tribute-first-african-american-reach-both-poles/#:~:text=The%20Arctic%20Institute-,Trailblazer%20in%20the%20Arctic%3A%20A%20Tribute%20to%20the%20First,American%20to%20Reach%20Both%20Poles&text=It%20has%20been%20over%20100,uncommonly%20known%20to%20the%20world.


Profs Mia Bennett and Rachael Lorna Johnstone: The future of the Arctic’s resources - from local development to global impact

In this episode we are delighted to talk with Professors Rachael Lorna Johnstone and Mia Bennett. Mia is an Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong and Rachael is a Professor of Law at the University in Akureyri in the North of Iceland and at Ilisimatusarfik, the University of Greenland, in Nuuk. What exactly does the Arctic Ocean provide people and nations? How do people access these resources? and how are they shared amongst us? These are key questions for the sustainability of development in the Arctic and they are at the heart of today's discussion with Mia and Rachael. Mia and Rachael share their wealth of knowledge on all matters Arctic and bring its state of affairs into sharp focus. We learn how its infrastructure has changed since the Cold War, the opportunities and challenges that climate change could bring for its communities, and what we stand to lose if we don't listen to the Arctic Ocean and the communities that know it best. Thank you Mia and Rachael, for sharing your valuable insights and for bringing the Arctic closer to home than ever.


Drs Tymon Zielinski and Volker Rachold: Inspire through education

Today our guests are Dr Tymon Zielinski and Dr Volker Rachold. Volker is Head of the German Arctic Office based at AWI, working at the science-policy interface. Tymon is a leader of the Climate and Ocean Research and Education Unit at IOPAN, Poland. This episode is particularly special to us as our guests are not only esteemed Arctic researchers, they also represent the EU4Ocean - the very initiative that brought us together and brought this podcast to life! Together, Tymon and Volker look back on their careers and time in the Arctic and share their hopes and concerns regarding its future. They also share their passion for Ocean Education and “Ocean Literacy” – the tool which they believe can be a game changer in spreading awareness of the Arctic environment and lead to positive action. Making the ocean a concern of everyone, especially young people, is the vision of the EU4Ocean. Tymon and Volker believe this is one of many examples of how strong cooperation and communication in the Arctic will be key for its future. Learn more and stay tuned on EU4Ocean events: http://www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu/


Lera Auerbach: When words aren’t enough, there is music

We are thrilled to reveal that Lera Auerbach - celebrated conductor, pianist, composer, poet, and visual artist – is our guest on today’s episode. Lera joins us to explore her perspective of the Arctic Ocean through the power of art, music, and storytelling. She is well placed to do so: her award-winning Symphony No.4 “ARCTICA”, is a boldly imaginative piece, commissioned by the NSO, The Oslo Philharmonic, and the National Geographic Society, and in collaboration with renowned Nat Geo explorer-in-residence Dr Enric Sala. From her childhood in Russia to encounters in Greenland, Lera takes us on the life-long and life-changing journey that led to this extraordinary work. ARCTICA has given Lera an emotional connection to our polar regions and their beauty. Through the power of music, she invites her audience to do the same. Lera’s website: https://leraauerbach.com/ More on the making of ARCTICA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7nOif_u7wg


Drs Hannah Cubaynes and Kim Goetz: The more you look, the more you see

Today we take a journey up into the Arctic sky! At least, that’s the viewpoint of our guests, who we think have one of the coolest jobs around… In this episode we are joined by Dr Hannah Cubaynes from the British Antarctic Survey and WWF and Dr Kim Goetz from NOAA in the United States. Hannah and Kim are marine mammal biologists who use images from planes, drones, and satellites to spy on the whales and walrus below. We discuss how exactly you spot a whale from space and the multitude of challenges facing Arctic wildlife today. Kim recounts her experience “on the ground” with the isolated and endangered Beluga population at Cook Inlet, Alaska. In contrast, Hannah reveals the unique connection to these animals she gains through the images on her screen. Together, Kim and Hannah candidly remind us that close encounters – even digital ones – can spark a personal connection to this fragile ocean. Their final message invites you to join them in their exciting new project. Learn more here: https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/walrus-from-space


Dr Gosia Smieszek: Every person matters and every action counts

We are delighted to be joined by acclaimed political scientist Dr Gosia Smieszek in today’s episode. Gosia works at Norway’s Arctic University in Tromso, researching issues of Arctic Ocean governance. She is also passionate about gender equality and representation, and has co-founded the successful association “Women of the Arctic”. We talk openly about the complexity of governing the Arctic Ocean, and the added challenges (and opportunities) that climate change brings. We also explore the experiences that motivated her and colleagues to create the inspiring “Women of the Arctic” and Plan A initiative, and are introduced to the work of a few of these inspiring women, from Kjersti Busch and Susan Eaton to Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. Gosia’s sense of purpose is clear to hear, and seems to be grounded in the personal connection to the environment she finds in her daily life. How can we be as determined as her to make a difference in the Arctic Ocean? Gosia's advice: “Do what brings you joy”. Learn more about Plan A: http://www.genderisnotplanb.com/ Report on Gender Equality in the Arctic: https://www.uarctic.org/news/2021/5/report-on-gender-equality-in-the-arctic/


Thomas Wunderlich and Felix Lauber: Anchored to the Evidence

In this first episode we have a wonderful conversation with Thomas Wunderlich and Felix Lauber - Captain and First Officer of Germany’s Polar Research Vessel, “Polarstern”. Thomas and Felix take us inside the Polarstern, revealing her history, operations, and what makes her such a dependable ship for undertaking vital scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctic. Captain Thomas shares his personal account of the Polarstern’s most ambitious voyage yet - the largest polar expedition in history - MOSAiC. The Polarstern and the hundreds of crew and scientists on board spent an entire year drifting through the Arctic Ocean in order to gain vital data on global climate change. As we hear, executing an expedition of this scale took a huge effort and was not always smooth sailing, especially with the arrival of a global pandemic. After visiting the same regions each year for over a decade, Thomas and Felix give us a glimpse of the polar world from their unique viewpoint, including the dramatic changes in sea-ice they have witnessed and how this has affected them and their outlook of the planet. Learn more about the mammoth MOSAiC expedition: https://mosaic-expedition.org/


If Oceans Could Speak - Trailer

Polar biologist Dr. Jen Freer introduces this new podcast - If Oceans Could Speak. In this podcast we listen to the ocean through the stories of our guests who have shared their life with the sea around them. In this premiere series we focus on the Arctic Ocean. Each week our conversations explore a different perspective of the Arctic Ocean, from the adventures of Thomas Wunderlich, Captain of the icebreaker ‘Polarstern’, to the musical journey of award-winning composer Lera Aurbach, which led to her acclaimed symphonic work ‘Arctica’. Our guests reflect on issues surrounding climate change, sustainability, and equality, and share their hopes and concerns for the Arctic’s future. By viewing ocean change through this human lens, we hope to raise awareness of our collective connection to this frozen ocean. This podcast is an output from The EU4Ocean Coalition for Ocean Literacy. Supported by the European Commission, this bottom-up, inclusive initiative aims at uniting the voices of Europeans to make the ocean a concern of everyone. Find out more at www.eu-oceanliteracy.eu and connect using #EU4Ocean and #IfOceansCouldSpeak