ASSEMBLE+ announces first call for access to marine infrastructure

Posted on Jan 3, 2018

ASSEMBLE Plus flyer

The MBA is a partner in the Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures project ASSEMBLE Plus (Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories Expanded). This European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) led project brings together 32 marine stations and institutes from some 16 countries. The aims of ASSEMBLE Plus, achieved though Access, Networking and Joint Research activities, is to ultimately increase long-term sustainability of the partner marine stations and institutes.

The H2020 ASSEMBLE+ project call for access to marine infrastructures for research projects .

Under the Access activities, the first open call for access to marine infrastructures has been announced. Under this call the MBA is offering on-site Access to the following platforms and installations:

ecosystems in the vicinity of the MBA laboratory via our research vessel MBA Sepia...

MBA member awarded an OBE

Posted on Jan 2, 2018

Richard Thomson © Plymouth University

A member of the Marine Biological Association has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his research into marine pollution by plastics.

Professor Richard Thomson highlighted the presence of microplastic (coining the now familiar term) in the ocean in a paper in the journal Science ( Lost at sea: where is all the plastic? ). Subsequent work showed the extent to which microplastics could be ingested and their potential to transport pollutants into organisms.

He is a natural communicator and advocate, moving beyond the results of research to propose and promote potential solutions to the plastic problem. Watch his talk on microplastics at the Marine Biological Association in 2016.

Find out more at Plymouth University's website .

If you are interested in becoming part the marine biological community, join the MBA .

€1.9m to open the ‘black box’ of marine fungi

Posted on Dec 22, 2017

Marine mycoplankton

MBA Research Fellow and Lecturer in Marine Microbiology at the University of Plymouth, Dr Michael Cunliffe, is among 329 top researchers across Europe who have been awarded Consolidator Grants, the European Research Council (ERC) announced yesterday .

Fungi are the great decomposers, breaking down complex organic material and making it available for growth, but they aren’t just found in the woods. The MYCO-CARB (FUNCTIONAL BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY OF PLANKTONIC MARINE FUNGI – Revealing the mechanistic basis of the roles of mycoplankton in the marine carbon cycle) research programme, led by the MBA, has received €1.9m to fill the gap in our understanding of fungi in the sea.

The roles that marine planktonic fungi (mycoplankton) fulfil in marine ecosystems have been largely ignored compared to other plankton groups, such as phytoplankton. Until we understand how mycoplankton...

Molecular mechanism of proteins involved in animal cell signalling characterized

Posted on Dec 22, 2017

A new article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry : "Evidence for a conserved inhibitory binding mode between the membrane fusion assembly factors Munc18 and syntaxin in animals" by Pawel Burkhardt , Research Fellow at the MBA in collaboration with Dirk Fasshauer from the Université de Lausanne decribes the precise mode of interaction between membrane fusion factors involved in secretory vesicle trafficking.

Read the abstract here .

From lab bench to backbench - MBA joins Royal Society pairing scheme

Posted on Dec 5, 2017

Westminster Hall
The MBA's Matt Frost (4th from right) among the intake of scientists at Westminster Hall for the Royal Society pairing scheme 2017.

The MBA's Matt Frost is at Westminster this week, taking part in the Royal Society's pairing scheme .

During his visit Dr Frost will shadow Sheryll Murray MP and learn about her work. As well as attending seminars and panel discussions about how evidence is used in policy making, Dr Frost will also attend a mock Select Committee.

Dr Frost is no stranger to the science-policy interface; he is a regular visitor to Westminster, responding to consultations on the marine environment and providing evidence to Select Committees. The pairing scheme is extremely valuable as he will get a behind-the-scenes insight into how policy is formed and how his research can be used to make evidence-based decisions. It will also give Sheryll Murray the opportunity to investigate the science behind her decisions and improve their access to scientific evidence.

Dr Frost said, "I...

Unlocking the microbiome - new report out now

Posted on Nov 29, 2017

Declan Schroeder. Image Maya Pfaff
Dr Declan Schroeder sampling a bloom of microalgae.

The microbiome is the entire community of microbes within a habitat and the surrounding environmental conditions. It holds arguably the most important and extraordinarily diverse forms of life on the planet, and sustains the biodiversity of life on Earth.

The Microbiology Society’s report ‘ Unlocking the Microbiome ’ was launched on 15 November 2017. It explores opportunities and challenges for microbiome research identified over the course of the Microbiome Policy Project. It will also provide an opportunity for multidisciplinary networking and knowledge exchange between researchers, funders, learned societies, policy advisers and other stakeholders interested in microbiome research.

The MBA’s contribution to the report through Dr Declan Schroeder (Senior MBA Fellow and member of the expert panel) can be seen in particular in Section 4.3. Environment - highlighting...

MCCIP report demonstrates collaborative science partnerships at COP23

Posted on Nov 20, 2017

In her speech during the COP23 conference in Bonn, MP Thérèse Coffey showed great enthusiasm for marine issues. Both the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) and the UK Ocean Acidification Program (UKOA) were mentioned as examples of collaborative science partnerships.

The most recent MCCIP report draws heavily on Interim Director of the MBA, Dr Matt Frost et al.'s 2017 paper " Reporting marine climate change impacts: Lessons from the science-policy interface ".

Dr Coffey said "The UK set up the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP) to provide verifiable evidence of the effect of climate change. This brings together scientists, government, its agencies and NGOs and has just published “Marine Climate change Impacts - 10 years’ experience of science to policy reporting”.

On the previous day (10th November), there had been a EU...