We hope to inspire and be an agent of change. Join us on this exciting journey to discover, learn about and care for the oceans.
“The time has come, a fact’s a fact… how do we sleep while our beds are burning…”
from the song “Beds are burning” by rock band Midnight Oil
We are launching a series of knowledge-based campaigns to share the reasons why the ocean matters, to share some fun and important facts about our blue planet and to discuss some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. In the upcoming campaigns we will discuss why tiny matters (The Power of Small), then we will move on to climate change, plastic pollution in the oceans and the role of women in science. These campaigns will link to our collections and their stories, giving them that extra meaning in a wider context by making sense of the bigger picture
Our first campaign, The Power of Small, relates beautifully to our first two collections: the Gachon and Flora collections which were both inspired by the microscopic world of algae and phytoplankton.
Our campaigns will encompass information on a dedicated section of our website. Through blog articles written by us and by our guests, we will share “short and sweet” fun facts and stories on our social media channels. Each campaign will have its own set of graphics, imagery and key messages. We hope you will find them interesting and easy to navigate.
If you have any questions, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you and so please feel free to have an open dialogue with us by posting comments and interacting with us on social media. You can also contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Because we care.
Every third breath we take has oxygen produced from phytoplankton photosynthesis.
If good things come in small packages then the microscopic world is a very exciting parcel indeed. We are surrounded by micro-organisms. Life started billions of years ago with microbes and there have been microscopic wars waged and pacts created ever since, driven by the need to adapt to a changing environment. There are microscopic organisms that support larger organisms like the beautiful relationship between algae and coral polyps and those that seek to exploit like the infection of algae by pathogens. All of this is for survival.
Phytoplankton are microscopic single celled organisms
Microbial organisms called cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) instigated the greatest change in the earth’s atmosphere so far
A short trip back in distant time is essential to understand the place of microbes in the earth system.
In the primordial ocean of the young earth, billions of years ago, microscopic life began. During the Precambrian around 2.2-2.4 billion years ago microbial organisms called cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) instigated the greatest change in the earth’s atmosphere so far – biological production of oxygen by photosynthesis. This was catastrophic for anaerobic organisms (those that do not need oxygen for respiration) and altered the ancient ocean chemistry. This biological innovation transformed our planet and made it habitable. The new oxygen, produced as by-product of CO2 fixation from H2O released by cyanobacteria, was reacting with dissolved iron in the ancient oceans, precipitating into other compounds such as iron oxide. After dissolved iron was exhausted, the ocean and then the atmosphere started to become saturated in oxygen. The expansion of bacteria and multicellular aerobic organisms took place over the next billion years and 1.5 billion years ago the ancestors of modern land plants and oceanic phytoplankton started to emerge.
Phytoplankton, the tiny drifting plants of the ocean, are vitally important to the health of the oceans and the earth as a whole.
Phytoplankton produce about half of the oxygen we breathe, and are as critical as the rainforests in removing carbon dioxide to keep the atmosphere balanced and safe for all inhabitants on the planet. Phytoplankton are the engine room of the marine food chain, supporting, and sometimes disrupting, a complex food web in lakes, seas and oceans. Although the enormity of phytoplankton blooms can be seen in satellite images, the individual organisms need to be viewed through microscopes to reveal their secrets.
We use microscopes to give us brilliant glimpses into the complex world of marine life. We can look at individual species and their intricate structures and examine the cell contents. We can observe interactions between species and the impact of algae and phytoplankton on other organisms and vice versa.
Our mission is to communicate the beauty of the marine microscopic world and its importance in the healthy function of the planet.
Phytoplankton are responsible for half of the global primary oxygen production (including rainforests)
Algae are responsible for the fantastic colours of coral
You can see a tree being felled and burned as forests are devastated around the world. It is much more difficult to see the direct impact of human activities on phytoplankton and other microorganisms.
Both ecosystems are vital for human survival, and we are only just beginning to realise how seriously human actions are affecting the bottom of the food chain.
Small is important, beautiful and powerful.