Ocean conservation is a global concern, but researchers say we don’t currently know what the oceans were like before major impacts caused by humans. Using sediments, shells and bones, and a host of cutting-edge analysis techniques, the SEACHANGE project aims to find out.

SEACHANGE is a synergetic alliance bought together to unlock the richness of oceanic history. Funded by European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant, this 6-year project will combine interdisciplinary research approaches to quantify the impact of major cultural transitions on marine ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, setting new baselines for understanding ocean environmental change. By understanding how the seas of today are different from the past, we will be able to better manage them for the future.

Aims and Objectives

The project will test the scale and rate of biodiversity loss as a result of fishing and habitat destruction over the last 2,000 years in the North Sea and around Iceland, eastern Australia and the west Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the earlier transition from hunter-gatherer to farming communities in northern Europe around 6,000 years ago. Jointly led by the University of Exeter, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Germany) and the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and with the expertise from project partners at the University of York, The University of Queensland and the University of Bergen, the project will discover how depleted the current marine environment is, what measures are needed to help biodiversity to recover and how long this might take.

Related links

For more information visit the SEACHANGE website

Prof Oliver Craig, Department of Archaeology, Director of BioArCh

Prof Geoff Bailey, Department of Archaeology

Dr Kwaku Afrifa, Department of Archaeology

Dr David Orton, Department of Archaeology

Prof Kirsty Penkman, Department of Chemistry

Dr Harry Robson, Department of Archaeology

Dr Jen Harland, Department of Archaeology

Principal Investigator

Prof James Scourse (Uni of Exeter)


See People page of SEACHANGE Project for full list

The SEACHANGE project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 856488).

University of Exeter

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

University of Copenhagen

Related links

For more information visit the SEACHANGE website