Unfolding Maps


#14: Exploring the Deep-Sea – with Diva Amon

Imagine you are sitting in a telephone booth-sized bubble hundreds of meters deep in the ocean surrounded by darkness, in an environment where nobody has ever been before. Many of the things you see here no one has ever seen before. Every now and then shining deep sea creatures appear. Most of them are completely new to science.

As a deep-sea biologist, this scenario may still be very exciting but it's nothing new to Dr. Diva Amon, our guest in this episode. Grown up in Trinidad and Tobago and currently based in London, she participated in several deep-sea expeditions around the world to explore and study previously unknown deep-sea habitats. Her work has been featured on CNN International, National Geographic, BBC World, ABC Australia, NHK, Los Angeles Times and more.

In this episode, she sheds some light onto some of the last remaining white spaces on the map of our world.








In the conversation, Diva mentions a couple of vessels that provide livestreams of their deep-sea explorations:

R/V Falkor: https://schmidtocean.org/technology/live-from-rv-falkor/

E/V Nautilus: https://nautiluslive.org/

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer: https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/livestreams/welcome.html

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#28: Euphoria and Terror – Crossing Antarctica with Felicity Aston MBE

“I just think back to that first time I got a proper look at Antarctica: There was something about the simplicity and the beauty and the perfectness of it all that made me want to scoop it all up and somehow contain it in me.”That's a quote from our guest, Polar explorer, Antarctic scientist, author, speaker and expedition leader Felicity Aston MBE. And that is exactly what she did: She preserved Antarctica (and the polar regions) within herself. She spent a continuous period of two and a half years (including two consecutive winters) at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula. These first experiences in Antarctica then led to numerous expeditions to remote places around the world (but particularly to the Polar Regions): She led record-breaking international teams to the North and South Poles, worked on a nuclear-powered icebreaker at the North Pole, led the first British Women’s crossing of Greenland, skied along a frozen river in Siberia, traversed the winter ice of Lake Baikal, raced in the Canadian Arctic, drove 35,000km across Eurasia to the coldest inhabited place in the world … and in 2012 she became the first woman to ski alone across Antarctica. It was a journey of 1744 km that took her 59 days to complete. With this, she set a world record. And she was not only the first woman to master this tour, but also the first person – male or female – to do so alone and with her own muscle power.Felicity reports on her experiences in four books and regularly produces articles for various publications in the UK and abroad. She has been elected Fellow of both the Royal Geographical Society in London and The Explorers Club in New York, and received many more awards.In this episode, she talks about the challenges she had to face during her Antarctic crossing – and the beauty of it all!