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The University of Southampton

Multimillion pound grant to safeguard our oceans

Published: 22 September 2022
Red tubeworms in the ocean
Red tubeworms surrounding a deep-sea hydrothermal vent. Image credit: Ocean Networks Canada

Continuing efforts by University of Southampton scientists and their colleagues to protect the ocean for future generations have received a funding boost from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.

This new grant will allow experts to continue highlighting the science needed for conservation at international negotiations, such as United Nations Ocean Conferences and meetings that design rules for future deep seabed management.


Group of people posing for photo
DOSI experts attend United Nations talks on conserving ocean life

While the deep ocean can feel distant from everyday life, the benefits it provides could not be more important. Making up more than 90 percent of the ocean, the deep stabilises Earth’s climate, supports major fisheries, and provides critical habitat for wildlife.

The ocean needs protection from unsustainable human activity. The Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) which includes colleagues from the University’s School of Ocean and Earth Science is a global network of scientific, policy and legal advisers who safeguard the world’s deepest waters.


Southampton researchers will receive over £3.5 million (£3,570,000) over the next ten years to provide expert advice on important topics like conservation, fisheries, climate change and deep-sea mining.

This long-term funding will allow deep-ocean experts to help define humanity’s relationship with the ocean for decades to come. They can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals for the ocean, advance access to deep-ocean science, and build international capacity to manage the deep ocean, our planet’s largest ecosystem.

Dr Maria Baker, DOSI’s Executive Director and Senior Enterprise Fellow in Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton, said: “We are delighted to continue our successful and supportive partnership with Arcadia who share our vision.

Logo for Arcadia - charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing & Peter Baldwin

“As a network of over 2,500 experts from more than 100 countries, DOSI’s international ties mean that we are ideally placed to provide the knowledge needed for effective policies in both national and international waters.

“That work is especially important now, as the next decade will be a crucial time for the health of our ocean. DOSI has already been influencing future ocean management by hosting official side events for policymakers at meetings like the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference and the International Seabed Authority.

“We are also proud to have driven the launch of efforts like Challenger 150, a programme that is coordinating deep-ocean science projects to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a programme of the UN Decade for Ocean Science and Sustainable Development.

“With this continued support from Arcadia, we can provide independent science to guide high-level negotiations on topics like seabed mining, climate change, biodiversity, and more. This funding also enables DOSI to support colleagues from under-resourced regions to participate in international events and working group activities.”

University of Southampton President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mark E. Smith, said: “I am very grateful for the Arcadia Fund’s partnership with DOSI, which represents a significant vote of confidence in all that has been achieved since the partnership began in 2017.

“This renewed and increased support will enable DOSI to be proudly led by the University of Southampton and, over the coming decade, DOSI’s experts will expand influence over the future of ocean management by sharing knowledge with stakeholders on the global stage.”

Find out more about DOSI’s work at


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