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The 2020 UK Voyage

In preparation for the upcoming, 2023-2025 DARWIN200 Global Voyage, over the summer of 2020, the DARWIN200 team voyaged around the UK on the tallship Pelican of London, circumnavigating the British Isles over 7 weeks.

The objective of the 2020 UK Voyage was undertake the global voyage in miniature, testing our systems at sea and under real-life conditions.

Young Scientists, Research Surveys
and Live Lectures

The 7-week 2020 UK Voyage involved a diverse group of sixty young scientists and trainee sailors (many from underprivileged backgrounds, invited to take part as part of an upskilling initiative).

In partnership with the University of Plymouth, Pelican of London was equipped as a floating laboratory to study a range of conservation and wildlife subjects.

The young scientists investigated levels of pollution in sea water around the UK’s coasts, quantities of plastic waste washing up on our shores, sources of sustainable energy (including wind power) around the British Isles, as well as undertaking surveys of whales, dolphins, large ‘macrofauna’ fish (sunfish, basking sharks and bluefin tuna) and seabirds. Findings were beamed live from the ship over the course of the voyage and via online lectures.

In addition to undertaking their research projects, the team of young scientists made many interesting observations, including documenting several shoals of bluefin tuna (a species previously near-eradicated from UK waters, but now returning), and large aggregations of up to 30 sunfish (rare in UK waters).

Much of the data generated from the surveys has been contributed to nationwide conservation surveys to build an understanding of the health of the UK’s marine environments.

During the course of the 2020 UK Voyage, the team undertook live lectures and talks, beamed to schools around the world thanks to a partnership with Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pans.

The DARWIN200 team were honoured to be joined by patrons and supporters Dr. Jane Goodall, Dr. Sylvia Earle and Dr. Sarah Darwin (direct descendent of naturalist Charles Darwin) for live-streamed talks that were broadcast to schools across the UK and worldwide!

  • 25 episodes, following the adventures of the voyage.
  • 9 science films summarising the findings of the main research projects.
  • 5 lectures and talks beamed live to schools.

Live Lectures beamed from the DARWIN200 Ship

Click on any of the embedded videos below to watch the following content,
or visit our YouTube channel to watch the latest DARWIN200 videos!


Live Lecture 1

The Darwin200 team partnered with Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants for a live lecture beamed to schools around the world!




Live Lecture 2

Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants host Joe Grabowski introduces the Darwin200 UK Voyage, and meets Darwin200 project leader Stewart McPherson and the Scottish Seabird Centre Team!




Live Lecture 3

The Darwin200 team is honoured to host a live lecture with our key project supporter Dr. Sarah Darwin (great-great granddaughter of Charles Darwin).




Live Lecture 4

The Darwin200 team is honoured to host a live lecture with our inspiring patron, world-renowned marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer Dr. Sylvia Earle!




Live Lecture 5

The Darwin200 team is honoured to host a live lecture with our incredible patron, world-renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace.



Live Lecture 1

The Darwin200 team partnered with Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants for a live lecture beamed to schools around the world!





Live Lecture 4

The Darwin200 team is honoured to host a live lecture with our inspiring patron, world-renowned marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer Dr. Sylvia Earle!


Live Lecture 2

Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants host Joe Grabowski introduces the Darwin200 UK Voyage, and meets Darwin200 project leader Stewart McPherson and the Scottish Seabird Centre Team!




Live Lecture 5

The Darwin200 team is honoured to host a live lecture with our incredible patron, world-renowned conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace.


Live Lecture 3

The Darwin200 team is honoured to host a live lecture with our key project supporter Dr. Sarah Darwin (great-great granddaughter of Charles Darwin).


Science Project Films by the Young Scientists

Click on any of the embedded videos below to watch the following content,
or visit our YouTube channel to watch the latest DARWIN200 videos!


Science Project Film 1

Darwin200 Young Scientist Joe Ellison led an innovative marine biology project during the 2020 Darwin200 UK Voyage.




Science Project Film 2

The Darwin200 2020 UK Voyage included a diving project to record the occurrence of marine life to provide data for the marine biological survey ‘Seasearch’, run by the Marine Conservation Society.




Science Project Film 3

During the Darwin200 2020 UK Voyage, young scientist Shaolin Casey led a study to understand microplastic pollution (the release of microscopic plastic particles as waste into our surroundings).




Science Project Film 4

During the Darwin200 2020 UK Voyage, young scientist Molly Brennan led a study of the surface temperatures of sea water whilst circumnavigating the UK.




Science Project Film 5

Aoibhinn Lynch and Kerry MacKay led a study to investigate the scale of macro plastic pollution in UK waters.




Science Project Film 6

Ash Dharmasingham and Jamie Smith led a study of seabird numbers around the British Isles during the DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage.




Science Project Film 7

Abigail Cundell led a study during the DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage to investigate and assess sea water quality at locations around the British Isles.




Science Project Film 8

Thomas Stone led a study of plankton in British waters during the DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage.




Science Project Film 9

Dr. Charlotte Braungardt, leader of the DARWIN200 2020 Voyage Science Programme, presents a summary of young scientists’ projects.


Science Project Film 1

Darwin200 Young Scientist Joe Ellison led an innovative marine biology project during the 2020 Darwin200 UK Voyage.





Science Project Film 4

During the Darwin200 2020 UK Voyage, young scientist Molly Brennan led a study of the surface temperatures of sea water whilst circumnavigating the UK.




Science Project Film 7

Abigail Cundell led a study during the DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage to investigate and assess sea water quality at locations around the British Isles.


Science Project Film 2

The Darwin200 2020 UK Voyage included a diving project to record the occurrence of marine life to provide data for the marine biological survey ‘Seasearch’, run by the Marine Conservation Society.




Science Project Film 5

Aoibhinn Lynch and Kerry MacKay led a study to investigate the scale of macro plastic pollution in UK waters.





Science Project Film 8

Thomas Stone led a study of plankton in British waters during the DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage.


Science Project Film 3

During the Darwin200 2020 UK Voyage, young scientist Shaolin Casey led a study to understand microplastic pollution (the release of microscopic plastic particles as waste into our surroundings).




Science Project Film 6

Ash Dharmasingham and Jamie Smith led a study of seabird numbers around the British Isles during the DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage.





Science Project Film 9

Dr. Charlotte Braungardt, leader of the DARWIN200 2020 Voyage Science Programme, presents a summary of young scientists’ projects.

2021 Voyage Episodes

Click on any of the embedded videos below to watch the following content,
or visit our YouTube channel to watch the latest DARWIN200 videos!


Voyage Episode 1

Darwin200 Episode 1: The Beginning of the Darwin200 Project.




Voyage Episode 2

Darwin200 Episode 2: Project Leader Stewart McPherson outlines the plan for the seven-week Darwin200 UK Voyage, and introduces the science team.




Voyage Episode 3

Darwin200 Episode 3: The UK Voyage commences as the Darwin200 tallship prepared to leave Sharpness Docks, navigates the difficult lock system and out into the River Seven.







Voyage Episode 4

Darwin200 Episode 4: Young Scientist Joe Ellison explains a survey of dolphins, whales, sharks, tuna, sunfish and other marine megafauna during the D200 UK Voyage!




Voyage Episode 5

Darwin200 Episode 5: Dr. Rohan Holt and Dr. Richard Sandford lead a project to survey the abundance of waste macro plastics in UK waters.




Voyage Episode 6

Darwin200 Episode 6: the Darwin200 team settles into the rhythm of life aboard our tallship sailing around the UK.





Voyage Episode 7

Darwin200 Episode 7: the Darwin200 team sets sail from the historic docks of Plymouth, where two centuries ago, Charles Darwin stepped aboard HMS Beagle and began his five year voyage of Discovery.




Voyage Episode 8

Darwin200 Episode 8: the Darwin200 team of young scientists land on the Isles of Scilly to collect sand samples to look for evidence of plastic pollution.




Voyage Episode 9

Darwin200 Episode 9: marine biologist, Dr. Rohan Holt leads the Darwin200 dive team to undertake four dives to document the marine biodiversity of the south of England.




Voyage Episode 10

Darwin200 Episode 10: during the first half of the Darwin200 UK Voyage, the young scientists and Darwin200 sailors have observed and recorded more than 60 sunfish so far!




Voyage Episode 11

Darwin200 Episode 11: one night, whilst visiting Lundy Island, about 30 manx shearwaters landed on the Darwin200 ship.





Voyage Episode 12

Darwin200 Episode 12: the team voyages north after exploring Lundy Island.




Voyage Episode 13

Darwin200 Episode 13: the team of Darwin200 young scientists undertake a series of systematic studies of plankton in UK waters.




Voyage Episode 14

D200 Ep 14: Rathlin Island (the Darwin200 team finds rocky reefs, kelp forests and grey seals).




Voyage Episode 15

Darwin200 Episode 15: as the Darwin200 ship sails north into Scottish waters, we pass a myriad of beautiful islands.




Voyage Episode 16

Darwin200 Episode 16: the Darwin200 ship calls in at the Isle of Lewis for a visit to the spectacular Callanish Stones. Darwin200 leader Stewart McPherson explores the ancient site.





Voyage Episode 17

Darwin200 Episode 17: the Darwin200 team continues exploring the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. We visit Gearrannan Blackhouse Village.




Voyage Episode 18

Darwin200 Episode 18: the Darwin200 young scientists design, create and test their own mini-wind turbines to discover which blade shapes and sizes generate the highest voltage output!






Voyage Episode 19

D200 Episode 19: the Darwin200 team undertake a competition to bake hard tack (also known as ship’s biscuits).




Voyage Episode 20

D200 Episode 20: Darwin200 team member Ash Dharmasingham takes us on a journey around the Darwin200 ship, comparing life aboard our modern vessel to that of Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle.




Voyage Episode 21

Darwin200 Episode 21: the team of Darwin200 divers undertake a series of dives around Scotland to document the marine biodiversity, and contrast the species and habitats with those of the southern British Isles.




Voyage Episode 22

Darwin200 young scientist Jasper Whitefield leads a project to study wind power by building and installing a wind generator on the Darwin200 ship.





Voyage Episode 23

In a light hearted moment, the Darwin200 team take part in an important tradition on our tallship, the Pelican of London – the Great Egg Challenge!





Voyage Episode 24

The Darwin200 team was honoured to visit Bass Rock, in the Firth of Forth, thanks to the Scottish Seabird Centre and Sir Hew Dalrymple.




Voyage Episode 25

On the final leg of the UK voyage, the Darwin200 team sails south from Scotland down the east coast of England.




Voyage Episode 1

Darwin200 Episode 1: The Beginning of the Darwin200 Project.






Voyage Episode 4

Darwin200 Episode 4: Young Scientist Joe Ellison explains a survey of dolphins, whales, sharks, tuna, sunfish and other marine megafauna during the D200 UK Voyage!




Voyage Episode 7

Darwin200 Episode 7: the Darwin200 team sets sail from the historic docks of Plymouth, where two centuries ago, Charles Darwin stepped aboard HMS Beagle and began his five year voyage of Discovery.




Voyage Episode 10

Darwin200 Episode 10: during the first half of the Darwin200 UK Voyage, the young scientists and Darwin200 sailors have observed and recorded more than 60 sunfish so far!




Voyage Episode 13

Darwin200 Episode 13: the team of Darwin200 young scientists undertake a series of systematic studies of plankton in UK waters.




Voyage Episode 16

Darwin200 Episode 16: the Darwin200 ship calls in at the Isle of Lewis for a visit to the spectacular Callanish Stones. Darwin200 leader Stewart McPherson explores the ancient site.




Voyage Episode 19

D200 Episode 19: the Darwin200 team undertake a competition to bake hard tack (also known as ship’s biscuits).






Voyage Episode 22

Darwin200 young scientist Jasper Whitefield leads a project to study wind power by building and installing a wind generator on the Darwin200 ship.




Voyage Episode 25

On the final leg of the UK voyage, the Darwin200 team sails south from Scotland down the east coast of England.


Voyage Episode 2

Darwin200 Episode 2: Project Leader Stewart McPherson outlines the plan for the seven-week Darwin200 UK Voyage, and introduces the science team.




Voyage Episode 5

Darwin200 Episode 5: Dr. Rohan Holt and Dr. Richard Sandford lead a project to survey the abundance of waste macro plastics in UK waters.





Voyage Episode 8

Darwin200 Episode 8: the Darwin200 team of young scientists land on the Isles of Scilly to collect sand samples to look for evidence of plastic pollution.




Voyage Episode 11

Darwin200 Episode 11: one night, whilst visiting Lundy Island, about 30 manx shearwaters landed on the Darwin200 ship.





Voyage Episode 14

D200 Ep 14: Rathlin Island (the Darwin200 team finds rocky reefs, kelp forests and grey seals).




Voyage Episode 17

Darwin200 Episode 17: the Darwin200 team continues exploring the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. We visit Gearrannan Blackhouse Village.




Voyage Episode 20

D200 Episode 20: Darwin200 team member Ash Dharmasingham takes us on a journey around the Darwin200 ship, comparing life aboard our modern vessel to that of Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle.





Voyage Episode 23

In a light hearted moment, the Darwin200 team take part in an important tradition on our tallship, the Pelican of London – the Great Egg Challenge!


Voyage Episode 3

Darwin200 Episode 3: The UK Voyage commences as the Darwin200 tallship prepared to leave Sharpness Docks, navigates the difficult lock system and out into the River Seven.




Voyage Episode 6

Darwin200 Episode 6: the Darwin200 team settles into the rhythm of life aboard our tallship sailing around the UK.





Voyage Episode 9

Darwin200 Episode 9: marine biologist, Dr. Rohan Holt leads the Darwin200 dive team to undertake four dives to document the marine biodiversity of the south of England.




Voyage Episode 12

Darwin200 Episode 12: the team voyages north after exploring Lundy Island.





Voyage Episode 15

Darwin200 Episode 15: as the Darwin200 ship sails north into Scottish waters, we pass a myriad of beautiful islands.




Voyage Episode 18

Darwin200 Episode 18: the Darwin200 young scientists design, create and test their own mini-wind turbines to discover which blade shapes and sizes generate the highest voltage output!




Voyage Episode 21

Darwin200 Episode 21: the team of Darwin200 divers undertake a series of dives around Scotland to document the marine biodiversity, and contrast the species and habitats with those of the southern British Isles.




Voyage Episode 24

The Darwin200 team was honoured to visit Bass Rock, in the Firth of Forth, thanks to the Scottish Seabird Centre and Sir Hew Dalrymple.

Special Thanks to the Sponsors of the
DARWIN200 2020 UK Voyage