Training-through-Research Programme (TTR)
TTR has been established to train young researchers in marine science.
Geographical area: Black and Mediterranean Seas; North and Central Atlantic Ocean.
Launched in 1991 by UNESCO and the European Science Foundation.
Sponsored since 1996 by IOC/TEMA (Resolution XIV of the XVIIIth IOC Assembly, 1995).
Executed by an international Executive Committee and the UNESCO/IOC Chair in Marine
Geosciences (Moscow State University) in collaboration with the Russia’s Ministry of Natural
Resources (the ship-owner).
Contributes with research results to the Ocean Science Programme of IOC, several European
programmes (for example the major European project “Hotspot Ecosystem Research at the
Margins of European Seas”, 2005-2008) and other international programmes (like ODP-IODP1).
Working methods: TTR puts together the advantages of the formal training of students and
young scientists with the experiences gained in advanced research. TTR cruises represent a
mixture of expertise, scientific disciplines and cultures. The TTR annual cycle includes:
- cruise planning by the TTR Executive Committee;
- 2 to 3 month cruise with the participation of up to 80 professionals and students; daily on-board
lectures, seminars and student conferences; training in data collection, analyses, interpretation
and report writing;
- exchange of students and professors for joint research;
- international post-cruise conference to discuss cruise results;
- publication of the initial results of the cruise in the IOC series; presentations at various national
and international research conferences; publications in peer-reviewed journals.
Research focus: Geosphere-biosphere coupling processes at ocean margins and in the deep
ocean; studies related to hydrocarbon accumulation.
Target groups: Under-graduate, postgraduate and PhD students. Students and young scientists
take part in cutting edge investigations, organized and carried out by senior scientists from a
variety of international organizations - academic, governmental, and industrial. Through TTR
they become research leaders. Cruise data are used for writing B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD theses.
Training results: between 1991 and 2005 over 700 students and young researchers from over 30
countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and Middle East have been trained.
Major research findings:
- Dozens of mud volcanoes and diapirs were mapped, directly observed by underwater video
surveys and sampled; methods for partial reconstruction of the stratigraphic succession without
the need for expensive deep-sea drilling developed; phenomena of gas seeping and gas hydrate
accummulation have been studied in detail;
- sand-dominated margin systems - analogues for hydrocarbon reservoirs – have been
- giant cold-water carbonate mounds and deep-sea coral reefs have been studied with a variety of
- issues of slope stability and other geohazards, as well as tectonics of continental margins have
- the ecosystems at continental margins are a new TTR target.
Publications: the TTR results are published in the IOC series as well as in special issues of
Marine Geology (1996, 2002) and Geo-Marine Letters (1998); over 60 papers in peer-reviewed
journals and some 400 other publications appeared.
Contacts: Dr. Neil Kenion, Programme Co-ordinator (SOC, UK), email@example.com
Prof. Dr. Mikhail Ivanov, UNESCO/IOC Chairholder (MSU, Russia),
Web site: http://www.ioc.unesco.org/ttr