Oceans of Learning Webinar

Finn van der Aar, author and marine biologist.To celebrate European Maritime Day, the Marine Institute offered a special live webinar on Thursday 20th May 2021.

Hosted by Finn van der Aar, marine scientist, speaker and author, the one-hour webinar explored our ocean - from supporting diverse marine life and ecosystems, to sustaining livelihoods and the impact of a changing ocean climate.

Filmmaker Ken O'Sullivan shared his experiences searching for blue whales, sharks and deep-water coral reefs in the North Atlantic for the documentary Ireland's Deep Atlantic. The two-part series explores many of Ireland's sea creatures for the first time, documenting their behaviour, in addition to investigating the health of our deep Atlantic waters.
Professor Louise Allcock at NUI Galway also joined Finn for a Q&A session. Professor Allcock has explored Ireland's deep-sea habitats and is an expert in octopuses, squids and cuttlefish, along with sponges and corals.

Finn spoke to Roberta O'Brien, the first woman in the history of the Irish Naval Service to achieve the rank of Commander in 2020. Commander O'Brien has held a wide variety of roles and appointments at sea and ashore, and was also the first female to captain an Irish warship when she assumed command of the LÉ Aisling in 2008.

The webinar included a panel discussion on our ocean and climate change, with marine geologist Professor Andrew Wheeler, University of College Cork and Glenn Nolan, Manager of Oceanographic and Climate Services at the Marine Institute. The panel will also include Marie Donnelly, Chair of Ireland's Climate Change Advisory Council, and former Director General of the European Commission with responsibility for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Innovation.

View the Oceans of Learning Webinar below:


For more interesting and inspiring conversations, download and listen to the Oceans of Learning podcast. The four-part series, presented by Finn van der Aar, shares the stories from the people and professionals who have a connection with the sea – through science, careers, industry, and more. The Oceans of Learning podcast is available to download from Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

The Marine Institute has joined together with a host of partners for the 2021 Oceans of Learning series, which celebrates our seas and Ireland's marine resource. Oceans of Learning enables everyone to engage with our ocean from anywhere with a new podcast series, videos and short films, news and online resources all about our ocean.

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