Expedition blogs and news from the Shallow Marine Surveys Group

Team Member Simon Browning

[caption id="attachment_138" align="alignleft" width="274"]Simon Browning Lt Col. Simon Browning
British Forces South Atlantic Islands

Simon graduated from Swansea University in Environmental Biology, sharing a room, for one term, with Dave Barnes, before heading to Ireland delivering research support to Matt Murphy at Sherkin Island, where he led the Littoral Flora and Fauna survey team, red seaweeds his specialisation. Refocus set him towards the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst; successful commission sent him to far flung destinations with the Royal Logistics Corps including Belize, Kuwait, Iraq, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and finally to the Falkland Islands.

His passion for marine biology never far from the meniscus; enthralled by the biodiversity of places such as Belize, Falklands and UK, diving is central to his core interests. Whilst in the UK he enjoyed contributing to Seasearch UK diving around the south coast recording worm casts, biodiversity and marine habitats.

A diver of over 24 years he is a BSAC Dive Leader and boat handler. Simon has been diving regularly with both the Shallow Marine Surveys Group and the Falkland Island Sub Aqua Club for the last 12 months, fascinated by the diverse marine life and enthralled by the Fur Seals and Sea Lions.

The opportunity to be part of an auspicious scientific diving project to Ascension Island will undoubtedly be a pinnacle event and leading the contribution to logistic planning professionally satisfying.

Simon’s philosophy logistics, the power behind the punch

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Team Member Sarah Browning

[caption id="attachment_132" align="alignleft" width="300"]Sarah Browning Sarah Browning
Falkland Islands Sub Aqua Club (FISAC)

Sarah has been living in the Falkland Islands for just under 12 months, coming here with her husband Simon in August 2011 on a 2 year tour. She is the Falkland Islands Sub Aqua Club (FISAC) Treasurer and Secretary.

Sarah has been diving since 2004, diving all over the world in wonderful locations such as the Maldives, Oman, Tobago, Malta and the UK from Scotland to Cornwall to the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. A keen conservationist, Sarah has undertaken a number of dives with Sea Search UK around the south coast enjoying activities such as recording marine life and habitats and helping to mark out an artifical reef. She was also a volunteer with the Episkopi Turtle watch in Cyprus during a three year posting there where, amongst other things, she enjoyed the excitement of camping overnight on beaches waiting for turtles to come ashore to lay eggs.

Since arriving in the Falklands Sarah has been diving regularly with both the Shallow Marine Surveys Group and the FISAC, enjoying the pristine South Atlantic waters and diverse marine life, as well as slowly overcoming her fear of very large sea lions close up!

A BSAC Dive Leader, Assistant Instructor and Boat Handler she is looking forward to participating in this exciting project and getting some Ascension Islanddives in her dive log.

Recent comment in this post
Guest — Linda Foulkes-Stokes
Hi Sarah - was searching for something totally different and got you! Hi from everybody you know at Epi Turtlewatch and belated c... Read More
Saturday, 12 January 2013 7:07 PM
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Team Member Kostas Tsiamis

[caption id="attachment_124" align="alignleft" width="218"]Kostas Tsiamis Dr Konstantinos Tsiamos
Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece.

Konstantinos (Kostas) Tsiamis is a biologist, focusing on biological oceanography. He has recently gained his PhD diploma in the Biology Department of Athens University, specializing on macroalgae taxonomy and ecology. Currently, he is a Post-Doc researcher in the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR, Greece). Over the past 9 years, he has been studying phycology, focusing on marine macrophytes: seaweeds (green, brown and red macroalgae) and seagrasses. Their biology, ecology, taxonomy and systematics are the main fields of his research. His PhD-thesis focused on alien marine macroalgae off the Greek coasts, with special interest in their taxonomy and impact to the indigenous flora.  In addition, studies of pollution impacts to marine vegetation as well as coastal management are also included in his research topics.

Within the framework of this project in Ascension, his primary research target will be to establish an inventory of Ascension’s seaweed flora. He will be working together with Prof. Frithjof Kuepper. Together, they have done similar phycological exhibitions during the last 3 years in several areas of Greece and Cyprus.

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Team Member Simon Morley

[caption id="attachment_110" align="alignleft" width="226"]Simon Morley Dr Simon Morley
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK.

Simon Morley is a marine ecophysiologist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) with nearly 20 years experience of physiology research. He has published 40 research papers and book chapters. During this time he has conducted marine surveys and collections in tropical, temperate and polar oceans, gaining a broad knowledge of  fauna in diverse assemblages from deep Antarctic walls to tropical reefs. He has published papers on the physiology of fish, bryozoans and molluscs.

Simon is an experienced dive instructor with over a thousand logged dives on all seven continents and hopes to bring this experience to the team.

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Team Member Peter Wirtz

[caption id="attachment_82" align="alignleft" width="293"] Prof. Peter Wirtz
Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Faro, Portugal

Many years ago, Peter started as a blenny expert. During travels all along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and West Africa (from Morocco to Cameroon), he detected 10 of the 50 species currently known in that area (plus one from the Cape Verde Islands, which he is currently describing).

Looking around (under water and on land), he noted many other fascinating critters and has now written papers on rather a lot of different species, from protozoans to Homo sapiens.

He spent many years on the Azores and on Madeira Island, travelled frequently to the Cape Verde Islands, and participated in a National Geographic expedition to São Tomé Island. This resulted in numerous papers on the marine fauna and flora and the biogeography of these Atlantic islands

On Ascension, he would particularly like to work on the following groups in co-operation with the experts mentioned:

  • Mysid shrimps - Karl Wittmann, Vienna, Austria.

  • Brachiopoda - Bernhard Cohen, Great Britain, and Carsten Lüter, Germany.

  • Gobiesocidae (Pisces) - Ron Fricke, Stuttgart, Germany.

  • Lygdamis (Sabellariidae) - Eijiro Nishi, Japan.

  • Zoantharia - James Reimer, Japan.

  • Corals - Helmut Zibrowius, France, and Bert Hoeksema, Holland.

  • Opisthobranchia - Michael Schroedl, Munich, Germany.

  • Eulimidae (Gastropoda) - Anders Warén, Sweden.

For this, he plans to do some night-time snorkeling in large tide pools (when cryptic opisthobranchs emerge) and to dive in caves (if any can be found).

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Introducing the team!

The full list of participants for the marine survey of Ascension Island, August, 2012.

The Shallow Marine Surveys Group is very pleased to present our team of highly qualified and dedicated individuals who will be travelling from around the world to gather in August 2012 on a tiny volcanic island in the middle of the South Atlantic.

We are confident the expedition goals to survey and catalogue the wide diversity of marine life found there will benefit from the collaboration of such a diverse international team bringing a wide range of backgrounds and experience to the effort.

In the weeks to come we will be introducing the individuals involved with more detail on their backgrounds and personal objectives for the expedition. We will also invite team members to post their own thoughts and experiences as they take part in the expedition.

 Shallow Marine Surveys Group

Ascension Island Government

  • Stedson Stroud - Project Partner/Scientist

  • Jolene Sim - Project Partner/Scientist

Falkland Islands Government

South Georgia Government

British Forces South Atlantic Islands

University of Aberdeen, Scotland

Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Greece

University of Exeter/Ascension Island Government

British Antarctic Survey

Center of Marine Sciences (CCMAR), Faro, Portugal

Ascension Island Dive Club

  • Caroline Yon - Dive Officer/Project Partner


  • Mr Jimmy Young - Ascension Island Dive Consultant

  • Mr Drew Avery - Database Manager

Recent Comments
Guest — Simon Pipe
Sounds like a great expedition. I'd like to write about it on . Does it go further, in terms of research, ... Read More
Thursday, 19 July 2012 11:11 AM
Guest — Paul Brickle
Hi Simon, glad you like the blog. We will contact you soon by email to provide you with more information. Best wishes, Paul
Thursday, 19 July 2012 2:02 PM
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Latest Posts

Latest Comments

Dave John Hunting seaweeds around Ascension
31 August 2013
Great to see underwater photos of this very unusual submarine environment where the ubiquitous black...
Helen Marsh Team Member Stedson Stroud
03 July 2013
Great to hear more about Stedsons work, and how he got started, having met him on Ascension Island l...
Simon Plummer Volunteer Ecological Surveyors
10 June 2013
I can’t stop smiling thinking of what a brilliant time you are having. The fact that I can visualise...
Simon Plummer Black triggerfish anecdotes
10 June 2013
An enjoyable and funny read, thank you steve for making me chuckle.
Simon Plummer Ascension Island fish record
10 June 2013
The photos are brilliant, envious.


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