The ECORD Science Operator (ESO) is the Implementing Organisation for mission-specific platform (MSP) expeditions. ESO is a consortium of European scientific institutions formed to undertake MSP expeditions for ECORD on behalf of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (2003-2013) and the International Ocean Discovery Program launched in October 2013.

To date, ESO has completed eight MSP operationsfive expeditions from 2003-2013 and four expeditions since 2014. Expedition 386 to the Japan Trench was completed on 15 March 2022.  Two more expeditions are planned before the end of the IODP in 2024 – see MSP schedule.

Tasks and Interactions

  • Operational and scientific planning; engineering development, platform and equipment procurement; contracting; essential training of personnel; safety surveys; data management; core curation; onshore science parties (OSP); publications; outreach and other related pre-, syn- and post-expedition activities;
  • Staffing of MSP scientific parties in consultation with the Program Member Offices (PMO);
  • Ensuring that MSPs comply with international and national regulations and obligations;
  • Enabling and integrating all aspects of the acquisition, management and distribution of core physical properties measurements and in situ downhole measurements during ship- and shore-based IODP MSP operations;
  • Maintaining and developing petrophysical shore-based support facilities and training as required by the scientific community and in line with IODP principles;
  • Providing curatorial services and appropriately staffed ship- and shore-based laboratory facilities as required by each MSP expedition;
  • Managing a core repository for geographically selected IODP cores and provide appropriate facilities in line with IODP principles;
  • Contributing to data management services using the PANGAEA®– Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science;
  • Providing facilities and staff to ensure the maintenance of capability in science operations for ECORD on a year-by-year basis.


ESO comprises the British Geological Survey (BGS), the MARUM, University of Bremen and the European Petrophysics Consortium (EPC). BGS acts as consortium coordinator responsible for overall ESO management under a contract from EMA as designated by the ECORD Council. The EPC is contracted to carry out logging and petrophysical activities. The University of Bremen is contracted to carry out curation and data management tasks.

Download flyers: ESO, EPC, MARUM-BCR

Contact ESO

More information about the mandate, tasks and membership of ESO can be found in the ECORD Memorandum of Understanding.


Past ESO members

  • Dave Smith, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Operations Manager 2004-2020
  • Carol Cotterill, BGS-Edinburgh – Expedition Project Manager and ESO Outreach Manager – 2008-2020
  • Sophie Green, BGS-Edinburgh – Expedition Project Manager 2013-2019
  • Sally Morgan, University of Leicester – EPC Staff Scientist and Manager 2007-2018
  • Robert Gatliff, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Chair 2010-2018
  • Hans-Joachim Wallrabe-Adams, MARUM, University of Bremen – ESO Data Manager 2011-2017
  • Jenny Inwood, University of Leicester – EPC Staff Scientist 2009-2018
  • Annick Fehr, RWTH-Aachen – EPC Staff Scientist 2008-2016
  • Alan Stevenson, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Outreach Manager 2005-2016
  • Albert Gerdes, MARUM, Bremen – ESO Media Relations 2003-2015
  • Colin Graham, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Data Manager 2003-2011
  • Dan Evans, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Science Manager 2003-2010
  • Alister Skinner, BGS-Edinburgh – ESO Operations Manager 2003-2008
  • Timothy Brewer, University of Leicester – EPC Manager 2003-2007