Marine heatwaves impact ecosystems with widespread implications for society

Posted on Oct 22, 2021

Coral bleaching
coral_bleach.jpg Marine heatwaves have caused widespread loss of habitat-forming species, such as reef-building corals, severely compromising ecosystem service provision (photo credit: Tory Chase, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies via Flickr).

A new study shows that marine heatwaves have led to major economic losses around the world; and researchers say global action needs to be taken to ease the impacts of extreme warming events on ocean life.

Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common around the world due to climate change. Marine heatwaves – periods of unusually high seawater temperatures – are increasing in frequency, generally with negative ecological impacts.

A paper published this week in Science provides the first global perspective of the socioeconomic impacts of marine heatwaves.

The study, led by...

Climate change conference and poster session to mark COP26

Posted on Oct 21, 2021

Marine Biological Association Citadel Hill

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) has partnered with marine science and education organisations across Plymouth to deliver a series of COP26 climate change events.

The PlyMSEF 2021 Climate Conference take s place on Wednesday 27 October with presentations by masters and PhD students, posters with the theme of COP26 (2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference).

MBA Director Professor Willie Wilson will open the conference at 1pm with an introduction to PlyMSEF.

This session also features a special guest lecture by Professor Edward Boyle: Professor of Ocean Geochemistry, Earth Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Almost all of the lead (Pb) in the ocean is derived from human emissions into the atmosphere. Professor Boyle will present data illustrating how the study of oceanic lead can contribute to...

Outstanding marine biology graduate wins MBA Prize

Posted on Oct 20, 2021

Photo credit: University of Plymouth


Photo credit: University of Plymouth

A marine biology student has won a prestigious Marine Biological Association (MBA) Prize for his exceptional performance and quality of work whilst studying for his degree.

Salvatore Giordano, who studied a BSc (Hons) Marine Biology and Coastal Ecology at the University of Plymouth was awarded the Marine Biological Association Prize for Outstanding Performance on a Marine Biology Programme.

Salvatore was delighted to be chosen for the award.

He said: “I was very surprised to hear I was named the winner! Since year one, I have been surrounded by passionate, knowledgeable and supportive academics, both at the University of Plymouth...

International summit for young marine biologists returns for 2021

Posted on Oct 18, 2021

Young Marine Biologist Summit 2021

Professional and aspiring marine biologists from around the world will join us at this year's Young Marine Biologist Summit .

The theme this year is Ocean Predators, and an incredible line-up of speakers will gather at the online event to deliver exciting talks about deadly and fascinating sea creatures.

The Guardian bestselling writer, broadcaster and science adviser Dr Helen Scales will be joined by a range of marine biologists from many countries across the globe, including Australia, the United States, Sri Lanka, Cameroon, The Bahamas and Malta.

Back by popular demand, the Sealife Showdown will return on Sunday 28 November. Seven passionate marine scientists will battle it out to prove that their favourite ocean predator is the ‘most awesome’ and the winner will be decided by a live audience poll.

Shark scientist, TV presenter and author Melissa...

Pioneering MBA Associate Research Fellow awarded lifetime achievement award

Posted on Oct 13, 2021

Associate Research Fellow Professor Linda Medlin

Professor Linda Medlin has been awarded a Yasumoto Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to the study of marine phytoplankton.

The prestigious award was granted by the International Society for the Study of Harmful Algae (ISSHA) in recognition of Professor Medlin’s long and outstanding record of contribution to harmful algal research.

Professor Medlin said: “I am honoured to receive this award which I never thought possible because I haven’t devoted my career to the study of one genus but rather to the entire phytoplankton community and from a molecular point of view.”

Professor Medlin has worked for over 20 years in marine biodiversity and has applied her vast knowledge and skills of molecular biology to fundamental and applied research and monitoring of harmful algae.

In 2008 Professor Medlin became a Research Fellow at The...

Photobionts in marine lichen species could play an important role for survival

Posted on Oct 1, 2021

 Marine lichen Lichina pygmaea at Rame Head in Cornwall

A new open access paper reveals that a species of marine lichen hosts a range of additional photosynthetic partners, which according to researchers could be vital for survival in the harsh conditions of the rocky shore.

Marine Biological Association (MBA) Senior Research Fellow Dr Michael Cunliffe and Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr Nathan Chrismas are co-authors of the research paper featured in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (JMBA) .

For a long time, people thought that lichens were mostly a two-way symbiosis between a fungus and single photosynthetic partner, but modern molecular biology methods are starting to show that several different photosynthetic partners or ‘photobionts' are sometimes involved.

The study showed that some samples of Lichina pygmaea - also known as black pygmy lichen - host a range of...

Record breaking marine science survey celebrates 90th anniversary

Posted on Sep 22, 2021

Almost 150 people from across the globe took part in an online conference to celebrate 90 years of world-class science.

Marine Biological Association (MBA) is home to The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey , the longest running and most geographically extensive marine survey in the world.

Now in its 90th year, the Survey has helped shape scientific understanding about the health of our ocean, and how marine life is changing in response to pressures like climate change.

September 15, 2021, marked the 90th anniversary of the first CPR tow, and to celebrate this milestone anniversary, the MBA hosted a free online conference to share the highlights and achievements of the CPR Survey from over the last 9 decades.

The conference, which featured talks and live Q+A sessions with experts from around the world, delved into the secrets and successes of the...