School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Alan Jamieson

Senior Lecturer in Marine Ecology


I am a Senior lecturer and teach marine ecology, specialising in deep and extreme environments. My main personal research interests are in deep-sea technology for the study of deep-water fish, bioluminescence and anything from extreme depths (or anywhere that simply isn’t normal). My current research team comprises Dr. Thom Linley (PDRA), Dr. Will Reid (PDRA), and Johanna Weston (PhD).

My research interests are primarily the biological exploration of the deep sea and associated technology with an emerging interest in simulating extreme marine environments in laboratory conditions. My main focus is on exploring the very deepest parts of the ocean, the Hadal Zone (6000-11,000 m). The hadal zone comprises deep trenches formed by tectonic subduction and centred mostly around the Pacific Rim. I have published about 80 peer reviewed papers and participated in 50 deep sea expeditions and have recently become a member of the Royal Geographical Society.

I have led the design on many Hadal-landers that my ever-evolving team and I have now deployed in or around the hadal trenches over 220 times over 18 cruises to the Pacific Ocean: Japan, Izu-Bonin, Mariana, New Hebrides, Kermadec, Tonga, South Shetland and Peru-Chile, as well other interesting deep-water sites such as the South Fiji Basin, Wallaby-Zenith Transform Fault and the Afanasi Niktin Seamount. Other non hadal expeditions include Antarctica, West African Margin, NW Atlantic submarine Canyons, and the East and West Mediterranean (the KM3NeT project). This work has recently diversified into exploring other extreme environments through the MASTS Deep Sea Forum, and leading a biodiscovery expedition to the South Shetland Trench in Antarctica in 2015 (‘PharmaDEEP’ Project).

The highlights of this research so far have been unequivocally proving that decapods do exist in the trenches, filming of the deepest fish seen alive in 2008 (Click here) and again in 2014 (Click here), filming the deepest fish in the southern hemisphere (Click here), having a hadal amphipod named after me (Click here) and finding the ‘supergiant’ amphipod in trenches and the southern hemisphere for the first time (Click here). I was involved in the first biological exploration of the New Hebrides Trench (Click Here) and Peru-Chile Trench (Click here), proving that fish are biochemically constrained from reaching full ocean depth (Click here), reporting manmade pollutants at full ocean depth (Click here) and more recently ingested microplastics (Click here), and finding and naming the deepest fish in the world (Click here). Check out some of the coverage from the Mariana Trench expedition on SOI's RV Falkor: BBC NewsNational Geographic , New Scientist , Science, Discovery and on Youtube.

I recently published a monograph on the hadal zone for Cambridge University Press that can be found here.  This book was endorsed by film director and explorer James Cameron who called the book "The most comprehensive book yet written on the mysteries of the ocean's deepest places, written by one of its best explorers". It was also nominated for the Royal Society of Biology Book of the Year award in 2015 (didn’t win though). You can read the review in Nature News here.

Our paper describing anthropogenic pollutants in the deepest places (Jamieson et al. 2017, Nature Ecol. Evol.) has an altmetric score of 2179 and is currently ranked 1st out 104 tracked articles of a similar age in that journal, and 34th out of 321,712 articles of a similar age in all journals.  Our other recent paper on hadal fish, Linley et al., (2017), was the most downloaded paper in Deep-Sea Research Part 1 in 2017. See Google Scholar profile here.

Interesting public outreach endeavours range from appearing on Blue Peter (Click here), to advising the Filmic Art 3D Deep Ocean Experience Blu-Ray DVD, to featuring in NHK’s 2017 David Attenborough narrated documentary Deep Ocean: Descent into the Mariana Trench, as well as my lander featuring in the Deep Sea episode of Blue Planet 2 as well as some images being printed in the accompanying book. I featured in a BBC radio documentary called Life in the Trenches, and recently took part in a BBC World Service panel show, Science in Action with Roland Pease. Me and my research were recently the topic of a question on the popular quiz show QI, where comedian Romesh Ranganathan gave his own hypothesis to explain snailfish zonation. I was also an invited speaker at the 2017 New Scientist Live event in London.

Meltwater, an advanced global digital media and intelligence monitoring company recently calculated my 2017 Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) at $15million, with a combined audience of 1.7 Billion people. The ‘social echo’ of just one of our stories was over 900,000 posts on twitter and Facebook.

He is currently the Chief Scientist on the Five Deep Expedition (, a round the world expedition on the DSSV Pressure Drop.  The objectives are to use the new DSV Limiting Factor  2-person submersible to dive the deepest place in each ocean. During the project I became the first British person to dive to hadal depths (7180 m in the Java Trench) and have since completed a 10,715m to Sirena Deep in the Mariana Trench and 7177 m in the Puerto Rico Trench. The Sirena Deep dives makes me the eight deepest diving human in history.

For more on the research and the scientific literature, go the ‘Publications Tab’, to read more from a popular science perspective go to the ‘Research Tab’.



Research Cruises
Vessel (country) - Year Location                   
  1. RRS Discovery D252 (UK) - (2001) NE Atlantic: Porcupine Sea Bight
  2. RRS Discovery D255 (UK) - (2001) NE Atlantic: Porcupine Sea Bight
  3. RRS Discovery D260 (UK) - (2002) NE Atlantic: Porcupine Sea Bight
  4. RV Philia (Greece) - (2002) E. Mediterranean: Rhodos Basin
  5. RRS Discovery D266 (UK) - (2002) NE Atlantic: Porcupine Sea Bight
  6. RV Johan Hjort (Norway) - (2002) Norway: Sognefjord, Ofotenfjord
  7. GG9  (France)*  - (2004) W. Mediterranean
  8. FS Meteor M61-1 (Germany) - (2004) NE Atlantic: Belgica Mounds, Rockall Bank
  9. GG9 (France)* - (2004) W. Mediterranean
  10. Veracious II (UK) - (2004) North Sea: Buzzard Platform
  11. RRS Discovery D285T (UK) - (2004) NE Atlantic: Goban Spur
  12. RV G.O. Sars (Norway) - (2004) Norway: Ofotenfjord/Tysfjord
  13. RV New Horizon (USA) - (2005) NE Pacific             
  14. FRV Scotia (UK) -  (2005) North Sea: Buzzard Platform
  15. Helsingør harbour (Denmark) - (2005) Skagerrak Sea      
  16. RRS Discovery D297 (UK) - (2005) NE Atlantic: Nazare Canyon
  17. RV Thompson TN187 (USA) - (2005) NE Pacific             
  18. RRS Discovery D300 (UK) - (2005) Southern Ocean: Crozet Abyssal Plain
  19. RV Seol Mara (UK) - (2006) UK: Loch Creran
  20. Crest (UK) - (2006) UK: Shetland, UK
  21. RV Seol Mara / Calanus (UK) - (2006) UK: Loch Creran
  22. FRV Scotia 1406S (UK) - (2006) NE Atlantic: Rockall Trough
  23. FS Meteor M70-1 (Germany) - (2006) East and West Mediterranean       
  24. RV Aegaeo (Greece) -  (2007) E. Mediterranean
  25. RRS James Cook 10 leg 2 (UK) - (2007) NE Atlantic: Nazare Canyon
  26. FS Sonne 194 (Germany) - (2007) SW Pacific: Tonga and Kermadec Trenches
  27. RV Hakuho-Maru KH-07-3 (Japan) - (2007) NW Pacific: Japan Trench
  28. RV Kairei KR-07-16 (Japan) - (2007) NW Pacific: East Mariana Basin
  29. RV Sea Trident (UK) - (2008) SE Atlantic: West African Margin
  30. RV Lydia (Greece)*  - (2008) E. Mediterranean
  31. RV Hakuho-Maru KH-08-01 (Japan) - (2008) NW Pacific: Japan Trench
  32. RV Philia (Greece)* - (2008) E. Mediterranean
  33. RV Tansei-Maru KT-09-02  (Japan) - (2009) NW Pacific: Izu-Bonin Trench
  34. RRS James Cook JC36 (UK) - (2009) NE Atlantic: Whittard Canyon
  35. RV Kaharoa KAH0910 (NZ)* - (2009) SW Pacific: Kermadec Trench
  36. FS Sonne 209 (Germany) - (2010) SE Pacific: Peru-Chile Trench
  37. RRS James Cook JC62       (UK)  -  (2011) NE Atlantic: Porcupine Abyssal Plain
  38. RV Kaharoa KAH1109 (NZ)*  -   (2011) SW Pacific: Kermadec Trench
  39. RV Kaharoa KAH1202 (NZ)*  -   (2012) SW Pacific: Kermadec Trench
  40. RV Kaharoa KAH1301 (NZ)* - (2013) SW Pacific: Kermadec Trench
  41. RV Kaharoa KAH1310 (NZ)* -   (2013) SW Pacific: New Hebrides Trench
  42. RV Thomas G. Thompson (US) - (2014) SW Pacific: Kermadec Trench
  43. RV Falkor (US) -   (2014) C. Pacific: Mariana Trench
  44. FRS Scotia (UK)  -   (2015) NE Atlantic: Hatton Rockall Basin
  45. BIO Hesperides (ES)*  -  (2015) Southern Ocean: South Shetland Trench
  46. MRV Scotia (UK) -  (2016) NE Atlantic: Faroe Shetland Channel
  47. RV Shinyo-Maru (Japan) -  (2017) NE Pacific: Mariana Trench
  48. RV Sonne SO259 (Germany) -  (2017) Indian Ocean: Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone
  49. RV Tangaora TAN1077 (NZ) -  (2017) SW Pacific: Kermadec Trench
  50. RV Sonne SO261 (Germany) - (2018) SE Pacific: Atacama Trench
  51. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*  -  (2018) NW Atlantic: Bahamas
  52. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*  -  (2018) NW Atlantic: Abaco Canyon
  53. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   - (2018) NW Atlantic: ‘RMS Titanic wreck’
  54. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*  -  (2018) NW Atlantic: Puerto Rico Trench
  55. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   -  (2019) Southern Ocean: South Sandwich Trench
  56. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   - (2019) NE Indian Ocean: Java Trench
  57. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*    -   (2019) NW Pacific Ocean: Mariana Trench
  58. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   -  (2019) SW Pacific Ocean: South Solomon trenches
  59. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   -  (2019) SW Pacific Ocean: Tonga Trench
  60. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   -  (2019) NW Atlantic Ocean: Puerto Rico Trench
  61. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*   -  (2019) Arctic Ocean: Molloy Hole
  62. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*  -  (2020) W Mediterranean Sea ‘La Minerve wreck’
  63. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)* -  (2020) Red Sea: Kebrit and Suakin brine pools
  64. DSSV Pressure Drop (MI)*  - (2020) NW Pacific, Mariana Trench and Black Hole.
TV Documentaries:
The Pacific. Channel 5, Voltage TV (Feb. 2021)
Deep Planet. Discovery Channel (5 parts, expected 2020)
Blue Planet II, Episode II: The Deep. BBC (2017)
Deep Ocean: Descent into the Mariana Trench. Discovery Channel (2017)
Alien Sharks II: Return to the Abyss. Discovery Channel (2015)
Deep Ocean Experience. Filmic Art (2011)
Radio/TV Interviews:
BBC World Service (Stephen Sackur)                  6th Mar. 2020
BBC World Service                                                                7th Sept. 2018
BBC World Service, Science in Action (Roland Pease)28th Sept. 2017
BBC News                                                                               16th Nov. 2017
Sky News                                                                                16th Nov. 2017
Metro Radio (Alan Robson)                                                7th Aug 2017
Sky News                                                                                7th Aug 2017
Sky News (Kay Burley)                                                          13th Feb 2017
BBC News (Fiona Trotts)                                                     13th Feb. 2017
PNR (Chris Joyce)                                                                  7th Feb 2017
BBC News 24 (Chris Eakin)                                                  19th Dec. 2014
BBC Scotland (Kevin Keane)                                                19th Dec. 2014
BBC Radio 4 'Into the Abyss'                                               16th July 2014
BBC 3 Counties (James Whale)                                          14th Aug. 2013
Radio New Zealand (Veronika Meduna)                           7th Feb. 2013
Radio New Zealand (Bryan Crump)                                   28th Jan. 2013
The Naked Scientist (Sarah Castor-Perry)                        15th April 2012
BBC World News/BBC4 News (Zeinab Badawi)              26th March 2012
BBC Radio Scotland (Bill Whiteford)                                 26th March 2012
BBC Radio Wales (Gareth Lewis)                                       26th March 2012
BBC3 Counties (Toby Friedner)                                          20th Mar. 2012
The Naked Scientist (Chris Smith)                                      13th May 2011
Blue Peter (Andy Akinwolere)                                             13th May 2011
BBC Radio Scotland (Mhairi Stuart)                                   3rd Mar. 2011
BBC Radio Scotland (Mhairi Stuart)                                   11th Mar. 2011
Radio Ireland, (Shaun MonCrieff )                                     19th  Feb. 2011
STV News North (Laura Goodwin)                                     14th Oct. 2010
BBC Radio Scotland ( Kenneth MacDonald)                    14th Oct. 2010
BBC Radio Wales (Adam Walton)                                      17th May 2008
BBC Radio 2 ‘Life in the Trenches’                                    Oct. 2007
Web Media/Publicity (selected):
BBC News:
World’s deepest octopus captured on camera. May 2020 (Click here)
Victor Vescovo: Adventurer reaches deepest ocean locations. Sept. 2019 (Click here)
Mariana Trench: Deepest-ever sub dive finds plastic bag. May 2019 (Click here)
Banned chemicals persist in the deep ocean, Feb. 2017 (Click here)
New record for deepest fish, Dec. 2014 (Click here)
Pushing frontiers of deep sea exploration, July 2014 (Click here)
Fishy molecule sets depth limit, Mar. 4th 2014 (Click here)
New Hebrides Trench: First look at unexplored deep sea, Mar. 3rd 2014 (Click Here)
Race to the bottom of the ocean: Why go down? Feb. 2012 (Click here)
Ocean Trench:Take a dive 11,000m down Feb. 2012 (Click here)
Supergiant crustacean found in deepest ocean, Feb. 2012 (Click here)
New shrimp named after Aberdeen Scientist.  Mar. 2011 (Click here)
Deep void yields new fish species, Oct 2010 (Click here)
Beyond the Abyss: Meet the creatures that live beyond the abyss Jan.  2010 (Click here)
Vivid colours of the deep. Jan. 2010. (Click here)
Deep-sea fish captured on camera. Nov.  2009 (Click here)
Deepest ever living fish filmed. Oct. 2008 (Click here)

Sky News
Microplastics found in stomachs of deep sea creatures – study. Mar. 2019 (Click here)
Scientists discover 3 new species of snailfish in oceans deepest depths. Sept. 2018 (Click here)
What lies at the bottom of the ocean? Sept. 2018. (Click here)
Plastic Pollution reaches oceans deepest parts. Nov. 2017 (Click here)
Pollutants banned in the 1970s found in depths of the Pacific Ocean. Feb. 2017 (Click here)
Shock as pollutants found in deep ocean life. Feb. 2017 (Click here)
National Geographic
Creatures in the deepest trenches of the sea are eating plastic Feb. 2019 (Click here)
New Fish Species lives 5-miles underwater – a record. Nov. 2017 (Click here)
Deepest Place on Earth Contains ‘Extraordinary’ Pollution Levels, Feb. 2017 (Click here)
Bizarre eels, fish found off New Zealand, Feb. 2013 (Click here)
Supergiant shrimp-like beasts found in deep-sea, Feb. 2012 (Click Here)
New deep-sea pictures: Snailfish, eels found in trench, Oct. 2010 (Click here)
Deepest-ever fish caught alive on camera, Oct.  2008 (Click here)
You Tube
Eurythenes plasticus. (Click here)
2020 Expedition: Red Sea Featurette (Click here)
2020 Expedition: Scenes from Kebrit lander (Click here)
2020 Expedition: Scenes from Kebrit Deep (Click here)
MASTS ASM 2019: Kelvin Boot talks to Alan Jamieson (Click here)
5 Deeps expedition heading to Challenger Deep (Click here)
Only three people have explored the deep oceans. Meet the next two (Click here)
The deepest of them all, in situ observations of the world’s deepest fish (Click here)
Newcastle University Discover new species in Java Trench (Click here)
Newcastle University discover new species from the extreme depths of the Pacific (Click here)
New Species of snailfish discovered (Click here)
Life in the Mariana Trench (Click here)
Supergiant amphipods discovered 7km deep  (Click here)
World’s deepest living fish (Click here)

The Conversation:
Linley, T.D., Jamieson A.J. (2018) Snailfish: how we found a new species in one of the oceans deepest places. (Click here)
Jamieson, A.J. (2017) We discovered pollution-poisoned crustaceans in the Mariana Trench (Click here)
Jamieson, A.J.  (2016) Ten things you never knew about the ocean’s deepest places (Click here)
Jamieson, A.J. (2014) How we found world’s deepest fish in the Mariana Trench – and why we must keep exploring (Click here)
Science mag
'Five Deeps' mission to explore mysterious ocean trenches, Dec. 2018 (Click here)
'Five Deeps' mission to explore mysterious ocean trenches, Dec. 2018 (Click here)
‘Extraordinary’ levels of pollutants found in deepest parts of sea, Feb. 2017 (Click here)
Gelatinous sac gives deep-sea fish a swimmer’s body, Jan. 2015 (Click here)
Ocean's Deep, Dark Trenches to Get Their Moment in the Spotlight. Apr. 2012 (Click here)
The Economist
The last of the great explorers. Sept. 2019 (Click here)
The World’s deepest ocean trenches are packed with pollution. Feb. 2017 (Click here)
Hell and the Heavens. Nov. 2012. (Click here)
New York Times
They’re Blue, Pink and Purple, and No One Has Ever Seen Them Before. Sept. 2018. (Click here)
The Herald
Voyage to the bottoms of the sea. The Texan and the Scots tackling the ocean’s depths. Sept. 2019 (Click here)
The Financial Times.
Deep Impact. August 2019 (in print)
Race to the bottom: the investor exploring Earth’s deepest places. (Aug. 2019) (Click here).
Popular Science
Inside Five Deeps’ record-setting quest to reach the bottom of each ocean. J. Dean, Sept. 2019. (Click here)
A U.S. adventurer just became the first to reach all of the world’s deepest spots. Popular science. J. Dean, Sept. 2019 (Click here)
An inside look at the first solo trip to the deepest point of the Atlantic. Popular Science. J. Dean, Dec. 2018 (Click here)
Planet Earth Website (NERC)
New shrimp immortalizes scientist. Mar. 2011 (Click here)
Ocean trench cruise finds brand new fish. Oct. 2010 (Click here)
Southern Hemisphere’s deepest fish caught on camera.  Nov. 2009. (Click here)
Deepest-ever fish caught on camera.  Oct. 2008. (Click here)
Public lectures:
Oct. 2020-Exploration at Full Ocean Depth: Oregon Institute for Marine Biology, USA
Jun. 2020–How far does your plastic go? Another Way Public Talk, UK
Feb. 2020-Extreme Marine Exploration: SciBar, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle.
Jan. 2020–The Five Deeps Expedition. Natural History Society, Newcastle.
Oct. 2019-The Five Deeps Expedition.  MASTS Annual Science Meeting, Glasgow
Sept. 2019 –The Five Deeps Expedition: Science, Royal Geographical Society, London
Aug. 2019-The Five Deeps Expedition.  University of Western Australia. Perth, Australia.
June 2019-The Five Deeps Expedition. Society for Underwater Technology, Newcastle
June 2019-When Owners become Explorers. OceanTalks, Royal Geographical Society, London
Nov. 2018-The Five Deeps Expedition.  Beyond Challenger: Royal Society, London, UK
Sept. 2017-Beyond the Abyss: Life in the Deepest Places on Earth, New Scientist Live, London
Oct. 2017-Life in the deepest places on Earth. Dove Marine lab.
Sept. 2015 -Life in the Deep Sea and Space, Aberdeen TechFest event
June. 2015 -Life in the Deep Sea, Energetica Summer Festival
Sept. 2014 -Life in the Deep Sea and Space, Aberdeen TechFest event
Sept. 2013 -The Deep Sea and the Solar System, Aberdeen TechFest event
Sept. 2013-The Deep Sea and the Solar System, Aberdeen Pecha Kucha event
March 2013 -Beyond the Abyss: Life in the Deepest Places on Earth, Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
March 2013 -Progress in science and technology at full ocean depth, SAMS
Sept. 2011 -Beyond the Abyss: Life in the Deepest Places on Earth, Aberdeen TechFest event
April 2011 -HADEEP: Life Beyond the Abyss, Edinburgh Science festival.
Feb. 2011 -HADEEP: Life Beyond the Abyss, Dove Marine Lab, Newcastle.
Feb. 2011 -Creatures from beyond the abyss, University of Abertay Dundee  (BSA)
Oct. 2010 -Lighting up the Deep.  Scottish Lighthouse Museums, Fraserburgh.
June 2009 -HADEEP: Life beyond the Abyss.  Glasgow University Science Festival, Glasgow.
Feb. 2009 - Observing life at extreme depths (6000-10000m). Dana centre, London.
May 2008 -Beyond the Abyss: Observing life in the hadal zone (6000-10000m).  SAMS, Oban.
Sept. 2008 -Beyond the Abyss.  Aberdeen TechFest event
June 2008- Way Down Deep. Future Science event.  Ellon Academy.


MST1102 - Diversity and behaviour of marine animals (Stage 1)

MST1104 – Marine Study Skills (Stage 1)

MST2104 – Marine Research and Employability Skills (Stage 2)

MAST2102 - Form, Function and adaptation of marine animals (Stage 2)

MST3102 - Advanced Marine Zoology (Stage 3) (module leader)

MST3014/3105/3106 – Research Project (Stage 3)

MST8011 - Critical appraisal of coastal production systems (MSc)

MST8022 - Environmental Research skills (MSc) (module leader)