Become a member

Members of the MBA are part of a global community of marine biologists. Whether you're a student, professional, or just passionate about marine biology, we have a membership package for you, all with a fantastic range of exclusive benefits.

Be part of a dynamic and dedicated community working to promote research into all aspects of life in the sea.

The Marine Biological Association has been at the forefront of promoting marine biology since 1884. This is achieved in a number of ways from running an internationally recognised education programme through to the provision of high-quality training courses. Members receive discounts for MBA activities as well as for use of our well-equipped meeting and conference rooms.

Facilities such as National Marine Biological Library are visited by people the world-over (members are provided free access) and the MBA continues to publish well-established scientific journals in addition to the more recent member's magazine The Marine Biologist.

MBA members play a key role in raising the profile of marine biology by, among other things, contributing expertise to Policy Advice and representing the MBA to the wider marine biological community.

Support our work

You can support the MBA without becoming a member. Click the "Support Us" button to find out more.

Awards and Grants

The MBA awards research and conference grants each year to a broad range of marine biologists in support of the Association’s objectives.


Join the MBA

Select a membership level below or take a look at membership benefits

MBA Fellows are senior practitioners in marine biology. In order to become an MBA Fellow it is necessary to demonstrate a contribution to the field of marine biology at the highest level.

The Professional category is open to individuals who are practising marine biologists and graduates of marine biology or related disciplines.
Associate membership is for those who are interested in marine biology but who are not working as professional marine biologists.
Membership is available to all students* registered in full time University education, including PhD studies.
Our popular 'YMB' category is only £12.50 per year, and is aimed at younger enthusiasts who are under 18.

Institutional membership of the MBA is available to universities, corporations and other organisations with an interest in the marine sciences and who wish to benefit from the Journal.-

MBA membership is great value. As well as supporting our work and being part of a global community you also get the following benefits:

The Marine Biologist is the world’s leading magazine dedicated to the discipline of marine biology. MBA members will enjoy free subscription to this beautiful biannual publication, bringing readers the latest in research, communication and education, with contributions from leading names in the field. You’ll also be kept up to date with what we’re up to through the MBA Annual Report.

In additon to your welcome letter and latest copy of The Marine Biologist our Young Marine Biologists also get a welcome gift, a renewal gift, a special email bulletin, access to a YMB blog, as well as free access to the National Marine Aquarium

The Marine Biologist is the world’s leading magazine dedicated to the discipline of marine biology. We aim to bring readers the latest in research, communication and education, with contributions from leading names in the field.

Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK (JMBA) is an international journal, publishing original research and reviews on all aspects of marine biology, to support the aims of the MBA.

Marine Biodiversity Records (MBR) is a rapid peer-reviewed, online, open access publication. MBR has been launched in response to the changing marine and coastal environment and an increasing demand for the documentation of marine organisms in locations where they have not formerly been recorded, as well as of species loss from habitats.

The association runs regular courses with generous discounts for our members. Our program of training events is constantly developing to meet the needs of the marine biological community. We welcome course topic suggestions from our members. In addition, the Field Studies Council and Royal Society of Biology offer discounts to MBA members. To find out more about these opportunities and for discount codes contact: membership@mba.ac.uk

The greatest honour the Marine Biological Association can bestow is the awarding of an MBA Honorary Fellowship. Honorary Fellows are persons of distinction who have contributed to the Company or to its aims. These individuals are therefore those who in various ways have made a substantial contribution to the field of marine biology. The very first Honorary Fellows of the Association were announced on March 11th 2014 at an event celebrating the granting of a Royal Charter to the Association.

Honorary Fellows are voting members of the Association and are entitled to the use of the postnominal of Hon FMBA.


His Royal Highness, Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh is patron of the Marine Biological Association. He has special interests in scientific and technological research and development, the encouragement of sport, the welfare of young people, and conservation and the environment. Prince Philip has devoted many decades to raising public awareness of the relationship of humanity with the environment.
His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco is a renowned conservationist and advocate for the earth’s marine and polar environments. In 2006 he founded the Prince Albert II Foundation which has tackled a number of issues related to biodiversity, water security and energy efficiency. As a result of its efforts, a moratorium on the bluefin tuna has been implemented in Monaco – the world’s first ‘bluefin tuna free’ country.
Dr Sylvia Earle, formerly chief scientist for NOAA, is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. Her tireless advocacy for the ocean led to the New York Times naming her “Her deepness”. She has authored more than 190 scientific, technical, and popular publications; lectured in more than 80 countries; and appeared in hundreds of radio and television productions.
Professor James Lovelock served as the MBA’s tenth President from 1986 to 1990.  He is an independent scientist and environmentalist, perhaps best known for his work on the “Gaia hypothesis”, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment.
Sir Tim Hunt is an English biochemist. In 1982 he discovered cyclins, and in 2001 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Lee Hartwell and Paul Nurse for their discoveries of “Key regulators of the cell cycle”. In 2006, he was awarded the Royal Medal for his work on cell cycle control and was knighted by the Queen in the same year. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering.

The Marine Biological Association provides a clear independent voice to decision makers on behalf of the marine biological community.

The MBA is able to provide authoritative expert advice to UK, European and international decision makers. As well as drawing on the experience and knowledge of its members, the MBA also utilises in-house policy expertise to provide advice and to deliver evidence to inform and support policy. Advice is provided directly such as through meetings with ministers and other decision makers or by means such as providing evidence to parliamentary select committees.

Responding to consultations

The MBA draws on expertise within its membership to provide responses to consultations. A wide range of consultation responses have been provided – further information or copies of the responses can be requested from Dr Matt Frost at matfr@mba.ac.uk.

Providing evidence  

Evidence based policy is at the heart of decision making. The MBA ensures that marine biological data and information is available to decision makers and those responsible for managing the marine environment. This is mainly achieved via its data and marine evidence programmes and through dedicated resources such as the Marine Life information Network (MarLIN).

 MBA policy advice – a history

The MBA has a long history in engaging with marine policy and management and issues and in fact was originally established to answer such questions. In 1866 a Royal Commission on Sea Fisheries, which included Professor Thomas Huxley as one of its members recommended doing away with existing regulations relating to sea fishing as fears relating to over-exploitation of fish were thought to be unfounded. In one of his most famous comments Huxley, in his inaugural address to the International Fisheries Exhibition in London 1883 stated that “I believe that it may be affirmed with confidence that, in relation to our present modes of fishing, a number of the most important sea fisheries, such as the cod fishery, the herring fishery, and the mackerel fishery, are inexhaustible”1.

However, Professor Edwin Ray Lankester put forward the views of many who disagreed with Huxley’s statement by arguing that man could have a significant impact on fish stocks so that “the natural balance is upset”2, 3. Lankester went on to propose the formation of a society to answer such questions and Huxley became the first president of the society when it was established in 18844. The main source of funding came from the UK Government who wanted to support the association’s activities towards the ends of “conducting research, collecting statistics and advising on legislation”. Much support in setting up the MBA was given by the then minister for the Board of Trade (which was then responsible for fisheries) Joseph Chamberlain4.

Although the remit of the MBA became much wider than just fisheries investigations, the Association has continued to make sure that both the scientific research and scientific expertise within the organisation is used to inform policy and management.

References:

  1. Huxley, T. (1884). Inaugural address. Fisheries Exhibition Literature. 4: 1-22.
  2. Lankester, E. R. (1884). The scientific results of the exhibition. Fisheries Exhibition Literature. 4: 505 – 445.
  3. Sims, D. W. & Southward, A. J. (2006). Dwindling fish numbers already of concern in 1883. Nature. 439:660.
  4. Southward, A. J. & Roberts (1987). The Marine Biological Association 1884 – 1984. One hundred years of marine research. Journal of the Marine Biological Association. 67: 465 – 506.