Foras na Mara

Oceans of Learning Podcast

Irish marine scientist, speaker and author, Finn van der Aar hosts the Marine Institute’s Oceans of Learning podcast. Finn is passionate about presenting crucial environmental and oceanic research in an understandable way.

The four-part podcast series shares the stories from the people and professionals who have a connection with the sea – through science, careers, industry, art and more. 

The Oceans of Learning podcast is available on RSS, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Episode 1: Our Ocean: Our Life

The first episode of the Oceans of Learning podcast focuses on marine biodiversity and how the ocean supports our health and wellbeing.

Dr Easkey Britton, researcher, big wave surfer and author joins presenter Finn van der Aar to talk about her life spent in and around the ocean, what we can all learn from marine life and why finding your ‘sit spot’ is so important.

Finn then delves into marine biodiversity, habitat mapping and ecosystems management with a panel discussion from Sibéal Regan of Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, Debbi Pedreschi a Post-doctoral researcher at the Marine Institute and Dr Aaron Lim, Lead Data Scientist at Green Rebel Marine.

Plus, she gets tips and advice from each guest on the one positive change that you can make to help the oceans and marine life.

Episode 2: Our Ocean: Our Livelihoods

On the second episode of the Oceans of Learning podcast, presenter Finn van der Aar speaks with a range of guests about the influence the ocean has on their work and their lives. With a sea territory ten times our land mass, Ireland's ocean economy supports a wide range of industries and the potential for Irish people and businesses to tap into this marine resource is immense.

Finn speaks to Patricia Comiskey, Ocean Energy Programme Manager at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Joe Silke, Director of Marine Environment and Food Safety Services at the Marine Institute, Ireland's first female Navy Diver Tahlia Britton, and Tracey Ryan, herbal alchemist and Managing Director for Codex Beauty Ireland, a plant-based biotechnology company.

Episode 3: Our Ocean: Our Climate

We know climate change is escalating and that human behaviour is impacting the planet, but you may not know how much of a role the oceans play in climate change. With temperatures rising and weather patterns becoming more extreme, just what kind of future can we expect and what will the consequences for our oceans – and our way of life – be?

In this episode of the Oceans of Learning podcast, presenter Finn van der Aar is joined by Samantha Hallam, ocean and climate scientist at Maynooth University, Dr Ken Whelan, Research Director with the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Dr Triona McGrath, Research Lead at An Fóram Uisce, The Water Forum, to shed some light on the past, present and future of climate change and the effects on our oceans.

Episode 4: Our Ocean: Our Future

In the final episode of the Oceans of Learning podcast series, presenter Finn van der Aar finds out how the next generation can seek to influence and engage with politicians and government and why research and innovation is so important for the marine environment.

Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaks with Finn about his summer days beside the sea in Cork and why his passion for the ocean has helped inform his political decision-making throughout his career. John Bell, Director Healthy Planet, DG Research & Innovation at European Commission explains in more detail about Europe's Green Deal, how it relates to the oceans and how Ireland can and should be an ocean superpower.

Aodhán Fitzgerald, Research Vessel Manager with the Marine Institute tells Finn about next year's exciting launch of the new marine research vessel, the RV Tom Crean. Finn also speaks to Eimear Manning from ECO-UNESCO, and Gary Kett, a marine scientist, who are both also involved with the All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador Programme.