Research expeditions

At any one time NOC scientists and technicians can be at sea on numerous vessels. Discover where they are and what they are trying to achieve.

Latest expedition

RRS James Cook

Cruise Principal Scientist Location Duration in days (begins) Aim
JC111 Passage



December 2014


The vessel with passage from Port-of-Spain,(Trinidad and Tobago) to Balboa, (Panama) through the Panama Canal PM on Tuesday 2 December. The vessel will undergo a four day port call before the next science cruise commences.

Cruise Principal Scientist Location Duration in days (begins) Aim

Jonathan Sharples



November 2014

Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry 

This cruise is the 3rd of a series of dedicated research cruises focused on understanding the seasonal cycle of biological and chemical processing of the different forms of the nutrients and carbon.

We will measure the rates at which both the photosynthetic and consumer plankton incorporate nutrients and carbon into their cellular material, and subsequently how the combined activity of this biological/chemical system influences the cycling of the major elements. This will allow us to understand the ways in which the role of the shelf system in global cycles is maintained.


Ship position

This map shows the positions of the NOC operated vessels RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook.  While every effort is made to keep this map up to date sometimes postion updates are not possible.

Update from the ship (PIM)


DTG: 281114  1200

Zone: Z

Subj: PIM DY018


Posn: 50 37N 006 57W

Course/ Speed: Vessel on DP at station J3

Wx: ESE 28knots. Part cloudy with sunshine, Rough Seas, 4.0m swell

Status:  Vessel undertaking CTD transect working to NE to Celtic Deep site.

Intention: Continuation of CTD transect

Fuel: ROB 277.6mt

Other: A fault occured on the VFE of the MFCTD at station J4 this morning, making the MFCTD inoperable. The station was abandonned and the vessel proceeded to J3 while the ETO and CPOs investigated the issues.

Station J3 proceeded using the SS CTD. The MFCTD is still out of operation with the fault been investigated. Station work will continue as per program using the SS CTD until the MF is back in service.


DTG: 281114  07:00

Zone: Z -4

Subj: PIM JC110


Posn: 12 11.3N  064 57.9W

Co: 278T

Spd: 11Kts


Wx: Ely x 14Kts. Slight sea and swell, Fine and Clear

Status:  On passage to Cristobal, Panama.

Intention: Continue with Passage to Cristobal, Panama.

Fuel: ROB 598.0 T

Other expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2014. Read more about 2014's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2013. Read more about 2013's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that took place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2012. Read more about 2012's expeditions

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Information for…


The outputs of research generate new knowledge about the oceans. Transferring scientific knowledge to support business and industry is an important part of our NOC remit.



Our research is intended to tackle the big environmental issues facing the world. Research priorities will include the oceans' role in climate change, sea level change and the future of the Arctic Ocean.



The University of Southampton and the University of Liverpool both offer a range of highly regarded undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Ocean and Earth Science.



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Principal scientists

All updated information for cruise participants can be found using the Marine Facilities Planning website: