Our guest this week is Dr Jon Copley. Jon is a marine biologist, specialising in the deep sea. He went on the first mini sub dive to the world’s deepest hydrothermal vents, 5km down on the ocean floor, and also took part in the firs minisub dives to 1km deep in the Antarctic.


Jon is also a science communicator and writer, who worked as a science advisor on the iconic BBC series Blue Planet II. He is also an associate professor of ocean exploration and public engagement at the University of Southampton. In 2019, he also published fantastic book called Ask an Ocean Explorer which tells you all about the ocean in 25 questions.

Over three quick-fire episodes, Jon tells BBC Science Focus managing editor Alice Limpscombe-Southwell about the bizarre life found on the ocean floor, the habitats where they thrive, and what it's like to explore the deep sea in a submarine.


Deep sea creatures

Jon talks to us about some of the bizarre species that live in the depths of the ocean, the beauty of bioluminescence, and the wonderful ways that some species of evolved to hide, hunt and survive in the inky depths.


Deep sea habitats

We take a dive into some of the incredible habitats that exist in the deep sea, including the intriguing world beneath Antarctica, the awe-inspiring trenches and mountains that ripple the ocean floor, the hydrothermal vents that support whole ecosystems, and the scavengers that quickly colonise a whale carcass.


Exploring the deep sea

Jon gives us a first-person account of how it feels to climb inside a submersible to descend to the bottom of the sea. He also tells us why deep-sea exploration and research is so important, and reveals some of the biggest threats facing the deep ocean.

More like this

Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast:

Ask an Ocean Explorer by Dr Jon Copley is out now (£16.99, Hodder & Stoughton).
Ask an Ocean Explorer by Dr Jon Copley is out now (£16.99, Hodder & Stoughton)


Alice Lipscombe-SouthwellManaging editor, BBC Science Focus

Alice is the managing editor at BBC Science Focus Magazine. She has a BSc in zoology with marine zoology. Her interests include natural history, wildlife, the outdoors, health and fitness.