• The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


Alan Jamieson is Professor at The Oceans Institute and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Western Australia and the founding Director of the Minderoo UWA Deep Sea Research Centre. He has over 20 years of experience in deep-sea science, technology and exploration. He started out at Oceanlab, University of Aberdeen UK where he progressed from mechanical technician to senior lecturer in Marine Biology (2000-2016), and later moved to Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences as a senior lecturer in Marine Ecology from 2016-2021. He gained a PhD in 2004 for his thesis entitled Autonomous lander technology for biological research at mid-water, abyssal and hadal depths. He is an international authority on the deepest places in the oceans known as the ‘hadal zone’, meaning depths between 6000 and 11,000 metres. He has published over 120 peer reviewed scientific papers and book chapters and monographed the book The Hadal Zone: life in the deepest oceans for Cambridge University Press in 2015. He has participated in nearly 70 deep-sea expeditions on over 26 research vessels spanning every ocean. He also pioneered the design, construction and operations of the full ocean depth Hadal-Landers and has deployed these baited camera systems over 500 times throughout the world’s deepest trenches. Since 2018 he has been the Chief Scientist of the DSSV Pressure Drop, notably during the round-the-world Five Deeps Expedition (2018-19) and the follow-on Ring of Fire expeditions (2020-present). During that time, he completed 14 submersible dives in the DSV Limiting Factor including 8 to hadal depths and 2 greater than 10,000 m deep. He was the first British person to reach hadal depths, and at the time was the 8th deepest diving person in history. Since 2017, eight stories spanning nearly 3000 online stories originating from his papers or projects have amassed a combined global reach of 7.6 billion people.


Alan Jamieson’s main research focuses 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. These extremely deep marine habitats host the deepest 45% of the ocean’s depth range yet comprise many ecologically disjunct ecosystems that differ greatly from the surrounding abyssal plains. Studying these hadal communities poses a series of challenges from access from the surface, environmental gradients at depth, reliable and available technologies, extreme and unknown topography and substrates, to various biological challenges associated with extreme hydrostatic pressure. As such, his research is a complex blend of natural history, depth related marine ecology, mapping and geology, population connectivity, and anthropogenic impacts at both inter- and intra-trench levels, and inter- and intra-ocean scales, and all underpinned by technology development and integrated taxonomy.

Geographically, his hadal research campaigns have taken him to the Japan, Izu-Bonin, Ryukyu, Mariana, Philippine, New Hebrides, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, Atacama, Kermadec and Tonga trenches, South Fiji Basin, and Black Hole (Pacific Ocean), the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone, Wallaby Cuvier Plateau, Diamantina Fracture Zone, North Australian Basin, Java Trench, Perth Canyon and the Afanasi Nikitin Seamount (Indian Ocean), the South Shetland and South Sandwich trenches (Southern Ocean), Molloy Hole (Arctic Ocean) and the Puerto Rico Trench and Agulhas Fracture Zone (Atlantic Ocean). In other deep-sea projects he has also worked extensively in the North and South Atlantic Ocean, East and West Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

Research Highlights 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 him (Click here), finding the ‘supergiant’ amphipod in trenches and the southern hemisphere for the first time (Click here), finding the deepest squid (click here), the deepest octopus (Click here), 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  (Click here) and ingested microplastics at full ocean depth (Click here), finding and naming the deepest fish in the world (Click here) and being the chief scientists of the Five Deeps expedition that successful put the first person to the deepest point in every ocean (Click here).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Zoology, PhD, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen

Award Date: 4 May 2004

Design for Industry, BSc, Robert Gordon University

Award Date: 1 Jun 1999

Industry keywords

  • Oceans
  • Environmental
  • Education
  • Communications

Research expertise keywords

  • Deep-Sea
  • Exploration
  • Hadal Zone
  • Subduction trenches
  • Subsea Technology
  • Biodiversity


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