ASSEMBLE Plus opens its third call for transnational access to its marine biological research stations

Posted on Feb 1, 2019

ASSEMBLE Plus (Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories Expanded) invites researchers from science, industry and policy to apply to access over 30 marine installations offering experimental facilities (tanks, mesocosms, bioreactors, wet & dry labs), technology platforms (molecular biology and -omics, imaging, bioassays, etc.), for accessing to ecosystems (research vessels, SCUBA diving facilities, submersibles) and many others.

The call for project submissions opens on 21 January 2019. Deadline: 17 February 2019.

In this initiative, ASSEMBLE Plus will cover the costs for a maximum of two persons per project to gain access to laboratories, research services, and standard disposables, for a maximum of 30 days . In addition, the...

An exciting opportunity at the MBA

Posted on Jan 31, 2019

Applications are invited from persons of appropriate standing for the post of President of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the United Kingdom, a leading Learned Society whose mission, as defined and recognised by Royal Charter, is to promote scientific research into all aspects of life in the sea and to disseminate to the public the knowledge gained .

This is an exciting opportunity to lead the Association at a time when there is an increased societal interest in understanding the marine environment.

The job advert and role description are available below. To make a formal application, please send a brief covering letter to sec@mba.ac.uk stating why you wish to be considered for this role, along with a CV and the names of two individuals who could support your application.

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DNA analysis of archived plankton samples reveals unexpected diversity

Posted on Jan 23, 2019

Harmful blooms of the alga Pseudo-nitzschia cause huge damage in coastal areas globally.

The MBA holds thousands of plankton samples stretching back to 1960. Research in Marine Ecology Progress Series led by Dr Rowena Stern found an unexpectedly large number of different varieties within this toxic algal species.

This is the first time we have used DNA from these archived samples to identify toxic algae. This allows us to map changes in the health of our ocean, benefiting wildlife and humans.

Dr Stern said: “ Pseudo-nitzschia cells are almost impossible to tell apart using routine microscopy, but using this technique we can discriminate between many toxic and non-toxic forms, allowing us to map ocean health and predict movements of toxic algae more precisely”.

Researchers at the MBA are looking at mapping changes in toxic...

Research identifies alien species posing the greatest threat to European biodiversity

Posted on Jan 21, 2019

Striped catfish, Plotosus lineatus

Scientists have identified 66 alien plant and animal species, not yet established in the European Union, that pose the greatest potential threat to biodiversity and ecosystems in the region.

The research, led by Professor Helen Roy of the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and involving 43 people from across Europe including John Bishop, Christine Wood and Jack Sewell from the MBA, and funded by the European Commission, was published on 13 December 2018 in the journal Global Change Biology .

The authors developed a horizon-scanning approach in order to derive a ranked list of potential invasive alien species (IAS). Using this procedure, they worked collaboratively to reach consensus about the alien species most likely to arrive, establish, spread and have an impact on biodiversity in the region over the next decade.

Four of the eight highest...

Registration OPEN - 36th Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology Workshop

Posted on Jan 14, 2019

The 36th Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology Workshop will take place 28 August – 11 September 2019, at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK.

The Workshop provides intensive practical experience on a number of microelectrode, patch clamp and optical techniques applied to single cells. This advanced techniques workshop is aimed at postgraduate students and both early career and established Doctoral Researchers wishing to apply these techniques in their research.

There are a maximum of 20 student places available on the Workshop.

The Workshop fee is £1,500 full board. Some limited bursary support is available to students awarded on a case by case basis.

Applications are now being accepted with a closing date of 31 March 2019 .

Collecting and Identifying Seaweeds 2019

Posted on Dec 20, 2018

Collecting and Identifying Seaweeds 2019

The British Phycological Society in association with the Marine Biological Association of the UK

Introduction: 18th to 19th March & Advanced: 20th to 22nd March

Based at the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth

Run by Professor Christine Maggs (JNCC, Peterborough) & Francis Bunker (MarineSeen, Pembrokeshire)

Advanced course includes guest teachers and speakers including: Professor Ignacio Bárbara (University of A Coruña), Professor Juliet Brodie (Natural History Museum) and Anne Bunker (Natural Resources Wales)

This course now offers two modules, an introduction to seaweeds (...

Crab Watch blog: 18 November 2018

Posted on Dec 19, 2018

The MBA education team held a crabbing competition at Sutton Harbour, in collaboration with @theboxplymouth , to involve the public with the citizen science project ‘ Crab Watch ’. Crab Watch has been developed as part of the European funded Sea Change initiative to collect large amounts of valuable species distribution data, and increase Ocean Literacy in Europe. The event brought out the scientist in everyone, with university students, parents, children and scientists working together to contribute to a dataset spanning Europe.

For 75 minutes families and friends competed to catch the largest crab. The teams recorded 50 crabs during the competition, with the winning crab an impressive 74mm across! Everyone was also on the lookout for non-native species and, any parasites attached to the crabs caught. Luckily only healthy specimens of the Common Shore crab ( Carcinus...