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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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...

DASSH - The UK Archive for Marine Species and Habitats Data

Accredited through the MEDIN partnership, and core-funded by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Scottish Government, DASSH provides tools and services for the long-term curation, management and publication of marine...

MarLIN - The Marine Life Information Network

MarLIN provides information to support marine conservation, management and planning. Our resources are based on available scientific evidence and designed for all stakeholders, from government agencies and industry to naturalists and the public. MarLIN hosts the largest review of the effects of...

Extreme Climatic Events in Marine Ecosystems

This multi-faceted project focusses on how short-term extreme climatic events, such as marine heatwaves and anomalous storm and freshening events, impact coastal marine ecosystems. The research will examine (1) trends in the frequency and magnitude of these events; (2) the impacts of...

How will ocean warming and changes in storminess and turbidity affect the structure, productivity and resilience of UK kelp forests?

This large-scale field-based project will examine the structure and functioning of UK kelp forests along existing natural gradients in temperature, wave exposure and turbidity. The project employs scientific diving as a tool to access highly productive and diverse kelp forests on shallow...

The influence of multiple global change stressors on marine communities: a novel field approach

This project will develop new technologies (i.e. heated settlement panels) to manipulate key physical variables (e.g. temperature) in marine habitats, to better understand how environmental change may affect marine populations and communities under realistic conditions. The development of novel...

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...

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.

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...

Coccolithophore calcification: An unexpected requirement for silicon

Coccolithophores are well known for their ability to produce intricate protective scales composed of crystalline calcium carbonate (calcite). A collaborative project led by Dr. Glen Wheeler (MBA) is studying the unexpected finding that certain species of coccolithophores require silicon in order...

Kelp population observations

Kelp population observations and studies have been a key focus inter-tidally at the MBA for many years and notable changes have been observed, however, little has been conducted sub-tidally. This project is the first to look at potential population shifts sub-tidally in relation to climate...

Coastal biogeography and biodiversity of New Zealand

A British Council researcher exchange award has linked the MBA with the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric research, NIWA in New Zealand. 126 rocky intertidal sites have been surveyed between 2008-2011, producing a unique, broadscale dataset of the biogeographic distribution and...

Physiological mechanisms underpinning organismal response to multiple stressors

The reproductive cycles and seasonal recruitment success of key climate indicator species of trochid gastopods are being tracked within field populations close to their northern range limits to monitor phenological shifts in onset of gonad activity and alterations to reproductive strategy....

Impacts of ocean acidification on key benthic ecosystems, communities, habitats, species and life cycles.

The NERC consortium project that initiated the ocean acidification mesocosm-based research at the MBA comprised 25 researchers from 12 organisations across the UK, and an international partner at Kristineberg Marine Research Station (part of Gothenburg University). Long-term laboratory...

Marine Biodiversity and Climate change MarClim

The Marine Biological Association maintains some of the longest biological time-series in the world. The Marine Biodiversity and Climate Change Project, MarClim® which was...

The role of ciliary calcium signalling in the regulation of intraflagellar transport

Cell biologists are becoming increasingly aware that cilia and flagella are important sensory organelles, which detect changes in the extracellular environment and convey these signals to the cell body. The biflagellate green alga, Chlamydomonas, is a model organism for the study of flagella...

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.

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.