He will be working on a project with ‘The National Geographic next week’.
After sitting down for an interview with ‘The People of Malta’, the only Maltese marine geologist in Malta, Aaron Micallef recalled how he ended up working in this interesting industry.
Aaron fondly remembers how it all started when he became obsessed with the animal and landscape stickers that came with the local juices from the shop.
"Tiftakruhom il-juices lokali li magħhom kien ikun hemm stickers tal-annimali u landscapes? Jien kont affaxxinat u...Posted by The People of Malta on Sunday, 12 March 2023
“That is where my passion and love for nature and landscapes started. I have now been working as a Marine Geologist for nearly 20 years. I am the only Maltese professional doing this kind of work”, he revealed.
Geography soon became his favourite subject in school and he ended up doing his first degree in Geography before going to England for his Masters.
There he had a two-hour lesson about an undersea avalanche. “From that moment I decided that that was where I would concentrate my studies”, he expressed.
He explained how truly little we know about our seas and oceans. There is a whole underwater world consisting of rivers, mountains and volcanoes that Aaron wishes to continue working on discovering.
“I am very much interested in knowing what type of landscape there is on the sea bed”.
“I conduct surveys with ships and I have the privilege to be the first person on the planet in the history of humanity looking at a particular landscape on the seabed”, he revealed.
His aim is to look for dangers that might be present right underneath us. For instance, he found 15 underwater volcanoes between Sicily and Tunisia.
His main job is however as a lecturer at the University and whatever projects he does outside of the university he needs to do on his own.
“Whatever I do outside my teaching, I need to apply for foreign funds for myself.”
Aaron went on to explain how he has been to every ocean and how “these are the most beautiful experiences where I feel like I have entered a monastery and encountering nature”.
This marine geologists has some exciting plans for the future as next month he will be accompanying another six foreign geologists in Sicily as part of his work with ‘The National Geographic’.
Aaron couldn’t finish off the interview without mentioning the incredible support of his family.
“My family's support, especially that of my wife Lucienne, is important to continue to pursue my work”.
Together with his colleagues, he’s also currently working “on an atlas of images depicting underwater landscapes”.
“Under the sea there is another world unknown to us, which we are gradually, slowly, slowly discovering”, Aaron concluded.