Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey team shows appreciation for volunteer support at Immingham port

Posted on Jul 17, 2018

Behind-the-scenes voluntary support is essential to the running of the CPR survey.

Lance Gregory and Dave Wilson from the MBA's Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) team recently visited Immingham port to meet several of our supporters whose work and collaboration are essential to the running of the CPR survey.

During the visit they had the opportunity to meet staff from DFDS, Eimskip, Sea Cargo and Drury Engineering, all of whom provide invaluable support to our long-running time series Survey.

Dockside staff and agents found out about our work through a “double act” presentation on the CPR Survey. The presentation explained the Survey in depth and highlighted just some of the science that has been generated from its findings. The visit reinforced the reasons the Survey is essential to long-term marine science and how much the volunteers' work is appreciated.


International public awareness campaign highlighting plastics in the worlds' oceans features continuous plankton recorder

Posted on Jul 5, 2018

A public awareness campaign targeting the issue of plastics in the world’s oceans is in Washington DC where it has been a huge hit, attracting around 20,000 visitors!

The campaign opened in October last year, featuring the MBA’s Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey. The Ocean Plastic Lab exhibition was launched in Turin, Italy and travelled to Paris before continuing its tour of the G7 countries, inviting the public to engage with scientific work being done around the world.

The CPR Survey contributed CPR silk, images, graphs of the spread of plastics, and text which were all incorporated into one of the 3 converted shipping containers. Jennifer Skinner, Outreach Officer & CPR Survey Plankton Analyst said, “ As the only UK marine science partner with the Ocean Plastic Lab exhibition, our work is fairly prominent, so it’s great to hear...

Plymouth student wins national commendation for best undergraduate thesis

Posted on Jul 5, 2018

Davis Laundon has been awarded a Certificate of Commendation by the Zoological Society of London as part of the Charles Darwin Award & Marsh Prize for the best undergraduate thesis across the UK.

Davis' excellent undergraduate research on choanoflagellates focused on investigating the origin and evolution of animal multicelullarity.

Davis has now started his PhD at the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth. He said: " During my undergraduate studies, I conducted my thesis work at the MBA with Pawel Burkhardt studying the evolution of synaptic proteins in the closest single celled relatives of the animals - the choanoflagellates. I am excited to continue working at the MBA on my PhD with Michael Cunliffe, where I will be investigating the parasitic interaction between fungi and marine diatoms. "


A graphic depicting...

UK and Germany join forces to investigate the impact of climate change on the Arctic Ocean

Posted on Jul 4, 2018

MBA Senior Research Fellow Dr Michael Cunliffe is playing a lead role in an international project examining the impact of climate change on the Arctic Ocean.

Micro-ARC, co-led by Dr Cunliffe, is a three-year research project that is part of the £12 million NERC Changing Ocean programme , which will investigate the effects of climate change on the marine biology, ecosystems and the biogeochemistry of the Arctic Ocean. Micro-ARC is one of a number of projects announced as part of the Natural Environment Research Council’s Changing Arctic Ocean (CAO) programme, with the research being co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

There are major gaps in our knowledge of the links between Arctic microbial ecosystem structure and function across a broad range of sea-ice environments. Through a multi-location and multi-seasonal cruise programme, and a...

Welcome to the wonderful world of jellyfish

Posted on Jul 3, 2018

© 2018 Keith Hiscock, all rights reserved.

The blue jellyfish (Cyanea lamarckii)

Jellyfish (Cnidaria and Ctenophora)

What is a jellyfish?

Most people associate the word “jellyfish” with the large, gelatinous creatures seen in harbours and stranded on beaches. These are known as Scyphozoans and they are cnidarians - belonging to the same group as sea anemones and corals. There are less than 10 Scyphozoan species in northern European waters (see below). However, there are over 100 species of small, less obvious, hydrozoan cnidarian species in the same area.

Which species do we see off Plymouth?

Of the 6 species of Scyphozoa we see off Plymouth, the moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita is the most common. It is very tolerant of low salinity, so you often see it in estuaries and harbours. In some summers we receive a lot of records of the blue jellyfish Cyanea lamarcki...

New UK strategy to protect world’s ocean

Posted on Jun 28, 2018

Last week (22 nd June), the Foreign Secretary announced a new UK strategy that would bring together all of the Government’s current international oceans work for the first time.

Overall, this new approach to marine and maritime policy aims to improve the UK’s efforts to support the protection of the marine environment and economic prosperity both in the UK and the UK Overseas Territories, and will involve several departments including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Speaking at the National Oceanography Centre, the statement from the Foreign Secretary builds on current UK marine commitments such as the Blue Belt Programme, the Commonwealth Economies Programme, and the ‘Future of the Sea’ report released earlier this year by the Government Office...

Environmental Governance after Brexit: contribute to official MBA consultation response

Posted on Jun 25, 2018

DEFRA is consulting on plans for a new environmental body to hold the government to account over the UK’s environmental obligations and ambitions, such as those set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan. The consultation asks whether these environmental principles should be set out in law, and what functions and powers this new watchdog should hold.

The Marine Biological Association has an opportunity to respond and we would like to continue to utilise our members' expert opinions and comments. If you would like to contribute comments for consideration in the official MBA response then please provide them by email to .

The deadline for the consultation is Thursday 2 nd August 2018 so comments will need to be provided to the MBA by Monday 16 th July 2018.

If you...