Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds MARTIN SOLAN: The oceans cover a staggering 360,000 square kilometres, or about 70% of the earth’s surface. But if we were to drain the oceans away, we’d see one of the largest habitats on earth– the sediments below us. My name is Martin Solan. I’m a professor in marine ecology at the University of Southampton. I’m interested in the diversity of organisms that live in sediments– what they do, how they interact, how they respond to change, and how, ultimately, they affect things that we care about. Because they do affect things we care about. As we’ve been learning recently, it’s vitally important to protect our seas. But it’s just as important to protect what sits underneath them.
Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds It’s easy to look at the intertidal shores and miss the important role they play in our lives. It is, after all, just mud. But it’s mud that is teeming with life. It plays a huge role in protecting our environment, providing nutrients to sustain biological communities, as well as providing us with mineral and biological resources. We know what happens to marine ecosystems when we warm the planet because we’ve seen it up close in the fossil record. What this means is that we can use the lessons of the past to help us understand the present and protect the future of these ecosystems.