As well as making a fundamental impact on our understanding of the natural world, MBA outputs have made positive contributions towards impacts on people, societies, their health and well-being, and the planet. Here are some examples of our work.

Listed below are a selection of the projects delivered by the MBA.

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Capturing Our Coast

cocoast logo

Capturing Our Coast aims to share best practice and work with other organisations leading related marine projects. In this way, together we can

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Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology (MICROB3)

Technological advances in the fields of 'Omics have enabled marine scientists to realise projects they only dreamt of 10 years ago. Large amounts of next generation sequencing data stand in contrast to the small amount of data management infrastructure with integrated analysis software currently...

SEACELLS

The SeaCells project has been funded since October 2015 by a €2.7m European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant. SEACELLS addresses fundamental questions in phytoplankton biology from cellular to population scales.  Our recent studies of phytoplankton, primitive photosynthetic marine...

Mechanisms of ecosystem change in the Western Channel (MARINEXUS)

The main objective of Marinexus was to create a network of research and outreach structures, based in Plymouth and Roscoff, in order to give the public information about marine ecosystems in the Western Channel, and to make them aware of the ability of these ecosystems to cope with the effects...

Climate Change & Marine Life

The world's oceans are important for both the global ecological balance and a number of ecosystem services like food production and transport. While scientists have tested the effects of terrestrial warming using greenhouses, no research has been done to look at the effects of ocean warming....

Development of a new antifouling assay

Small scratch in antifoul coating on hull, colonised by several species

A bioassay of antifouling treatments is being developed based on the settlement and metamorphosis of bryozoan (moss animal) larvae.

In order to broaden the taxonomic range of testing used to assess new antifouling formulations, a bioassay using the responses of bryozoan larvae is being...

Habitats Directive Recreational Assessment

To support the Habitat Regulations Assessment of the Plymouth Sound and Estuaries European Marine Site, Plymouth City Council on behalf of the Tamar Estuaries Consultative Forum (TECF) has commissioned the MBA to collect and analyse evidence of recreational activities to assess the likely exposure...

Information Needs of a Celtic Seas Web Portal

This project was aimed to support stakeholders in understanding the requirements and implementing the MSFD in the Celtic Seas, one of the sub regions of the North East Atlantic Regional Sea. There were two parts to this work:

1) Identification and provision of a detailed list of specific...

Integrated Biotechnological Solutions for Combating Marine Oil Spills (Kill Spill)

Oil spills that release harmful petroleum hydrocarbons into the marine environment can be cleaned up in several ways. These include sponge-like sorbents that absorb oil, dispersants that chemically break down oil, and microorganisms that biologically degrade oil by consuming it as an energy...

THE MICRO ALGAE BIOREFINERY (D-Factory)

The aim of FP7-KBBE D-FACTORY (The micro algae biorefinery) project is to set a worldwide benchmark for a sustainable biorefinery using biomass from the salt-tolerant microalgae Dunaliella salina. Dunaliella cultivation is the largest for any microalgae, involving hundreds of...

The MBA research programme is recognized for its excellence and diversity, ranging from the fundamental biology of marine organisms through to the study of whole communities and ecosystems.

MBA research is supported by many different funding bodies, including the Natural Environment Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The MBA also conducts research with many European partners, through the EU framework programmes. Here are some examples of our work.

Development of a new antifouling assay

Small scratch in antifoul coating on hull, colonised by several species

A bioassay of antifouling treatments is being developed based on the settlement and metamorphosis of bryozoan (moss animal) larvae.

In order to broaden the taxonomic range of testing used to assess new antifouling formulations, a bioassay using the responses of bryozoan larvae is being...

Integrated Biotechnological Solutions for Combating Marine Oil Spills (Kill Spill)

Oil spills that release harmful petroleum hydrocarbons into the marine environment can be cleaned up in several ways. These include sponge-like sorbents that absorb oil, dispersants that chemically break down oil, and microorganisms that biologically degrade oil by consuming it as an energy...

THE MICRO ALGAE BIOREFINERY (D-Factory)

The aim of FP7-KBBE D-FACTORY (The micro algae biorefinery) project is to set a worldwide benchmark for a sustainable biorefinery using biomass from the salt-tolerant microalgae Dunaliella salina. Dunaliella cultivation is the largest for any microalgae, involving hundreds of...

European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster to promote the Blue Bioeconomy (EMBRIC)

The Horizon 2020 NFRADEV-4-2014-2015 EMBRIC project is designed to accelerate the pace of scientific discovery and innovation from marine Bio-Resources. EMBRIC aims to promote new applications derived from marine organisms in fields such as drug discovery, novel foods and food...

Channel Catchments Cluster (3C)

The Channel Catchment Cluster (3C) project capitalised on the outputs of previous Interreg IVA (Channel) programme projects which focussed on water quality within coastal basin catchments.  The 3C project collated, shared and disseminated the practical tools, techniques, data and best...

MicroCokit

MicroCokit is a partnership of 5 academic groups and leading private enterprises to foster the transfer of knowledge among the partners with the final goal to bring to the market faster, sensitive and robust tools as bioindicators of water quality. The MBA’s role in this project is to transfer...

Understanding the global impacts and implications of range-shifting species in marine systems

This large, multi-national project aims to better understand the wider implications of species' range shifts in marine ecosystems. Many marine species have shifted their geographical distributions, predominantly poleward, in response to recent oceanic warming. The wider impacts of the...

Biosecurity training and advice on non-native species

Inspecting pontoons managed by Milford Haven Port Authority

The MBA is working with partners in the provision of biosecurity training and advice along with the development of biosecurity plans for specific sites, areas and activities. Biosecurity here means taking steps to make sure that good practices are in place to minimise the risk of spreading...

Reproductive biology of sessile animal species

Incubation chamber (Gonozooid) of the cyclostome Filicrisia geniculata

A long-standing study has elucidated spermcast mating by sessile invertebrates, a widespread process involving the release of sperm into the water and its subsequent uptake by conspecific genetic individuals. 

This has involved long-term culturing of colonial ascidians...

Leisure boating and non-native species

Propellor with fouling including non-native species

The role of leisure boating and marinas in the secondary spread of non-natives along coastlines is being investigated.

This has involved survey work, monitoring and experimental investigations using settlement panels. The data also contributes baseline distribution information...

MBA Education has enormous experience in interpreting scientific concepts for diverse audiences. Our activities and resources have a reputation for innovation and accessibility and many are designed to fit with formal education curricula.

The MBA Data Team provides expertise in the archiving, management, visualization and dissemination of quality-assured marine biodiversity datasets and metadata.  The team operates the national biodiversity Data Archive Centre, DASSH, which is accredited through the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN).  The Data Team supplies advice, tools and resources enabling maximum value to be gained from biological datasets and additionally provides guidance on compliance with UK and International legislation relating to data governance.
The MBA has long recognised the important role of citizen scientists for conservation and monitoring biodiversity. We work in partnership to support numerous initiatives and projects including the Sealife Survey recording scheme in partnership with the National Biodiversity Network, and an annual Bioblitz event.

The MBA is embedded in numerous European partnerships and networks. We have worked both as a partner and as project lead, with European colleagues in a plethora of marine-themed projects primarily funded through the EU Framework Programmes up to and including Horizon 2020, and the European Regional Development Fund Interreg programme.

Channel Catchments Cluster (3C)

The Channel Catchment Cluster (3C) project capitalised on the outputs of previous Interreg IVA (Channel) programme projects which focussed on water quality within coastal basin catchments.  The 3C project collated, shared and disseminated the practical tools, techniques, data and best...

MicroCokit

MicroCokit is a partnership of 5 academic groups and leading private enterprises to foster the transfer of knowledge among the partners with the final goal to bring to the market faster, sensitive and robust tools as bioindicators of water quality. The MBA’s role in this project is to transfer...

Sea Change

Sea Change Project

The Marine Biological Association is the Coordinator of the Sea Change project, an ambitious EU Funded project to develop “Ocean Literacy” in Europe. The Sea Change project runs from 2015 to 2018.

Ocean Literacy is an understanding of the oceans’ influence on us and our...

ENVRI+

ENVRI Plus Logo
ENVRIplus is a Horizon 2020 project bringing together Environmental and Earth System Research Infrastructures, projects and networks together with technical specialist partners to create a more coherent, interdisciplinary and interoperable...

EMODNet Biology

EMODNet Logo
The Data Team have been active in the provision of UK data to the European Marine Observation and Data Network. By the development of ‘crosswalks’ between UK data standards developed by DASSH within MEDIN and the GBIF global biodiversity standards we have been able to demonstrate how data can flow...

Managing activities in the marine environment requires robust, up-to-date evidence on a variety of issues from habitats and species impact assessments through to activities/pressures analyses and governance/legislation frameworks. The MBA has an exceptional track record in providing this type of evidence to a wide range of stakeholders with some of the most recent shown here.

The introduction of marine species to new areas by human activities

Mitochondrial haplotypes of global populations of the ascidian Ciona robusta

The anthropogenic mechanisms and routes by which marine species are carried between remote biogeographic regions have been studied.

This has involved a combination of i) population-genetic approaches to infer population histories and ii) repeated monitoring of sites to document actual...