The Underwater Technology Podcast

Deep Ocean Exploration & discovery using human occupied vehicles, ROVs & AUVs

August 13, 2020 Steve Hall, Society for Underwater Technology; Jon Copley, bathynaut Season 1 Episode 22
The Underwater Technology Podcast
Deep Ocean Exploration & discovery using human occupied vehicles, ROVs & AUVs
Show Notes

Episode 22, 13th August 2020 - In a longer than usual episode SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Dr Jon Copley about his career in deep-ocean exploration and research. Jon was an SUT-sponsored student back in his university days, and has gone on to become one of the world's leading experts on the deep ocean environment, currently he's the Associate Professor in Ocean Exploration & Public Engagement in the School of Ocean & Earth science at the University of Southampton, and also works as a freelance science communicator, contributing to publications such as New Scientist magazine, and training scientists how to communicate effectively.
Jon is one of the small number of human beings who've spent time exploring the abyss on board human-occupied vehicles such as the DSVs Sea Cliff, Shinkai 6500, Johnson Sea Link and others. Jon is also a user of deep-rated Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) - indeed he followed Steve Hall's stint as 'Autosub Science Missions' Programme manager at the UK National Oceanography Centre in the early 2000s, taking the work to the next level as the 'Autosub Under-Ice Science Missions' Programme Manager.
Jon speaks about hydrothermal vent ecosystems, the technology needed to explore them, what it's like to dive into the depths of the ocean far beyond the limits of military submarines, and includes tips for young people interested in a career in ocean discovery. We also talk about using robots to explore the oceans of other worlds, and how today's work in Earth's ocean will make that possible in the not-too-distant future.
He also speaks briefly on deep ocean mining to supply raw materials for a post-hydrocarbons world, and the need for effective planning and legislation to ensure it is conducted in the safest & most sustainable manner.
Find out more about Jon at
His book 'Ask an Ocean Explorer' is available from the usual sources, ISBN-13: 9781473696877.

Find out more about the Society for Underwater Technology at, contact Steve Hall at with feedback or questions and especially if you'd like to be featured in a future podcast - we have listeners all over the world.
Please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast. Thanks to Emily Boddy for composing and performing the podcast theme music, and creating podcast artwork. Thanks to Zapsplat for ambient ocean sounds. 
Next week Pod 23 we'll be learning about breakthrough technology in sustainable aquaculture using vat-grown fish cells. 

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