A free interactive open day for would-be Citizen Scientists!

Posted on Mar 21, 2019

Come along to our free interactive open day – Beyond Capturing Our Coast Southwest needs Citizen Scientists to help survey our coasts!

Beyond Capturing Our Coast invite you to a free, fun filled day at the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth to get involved with our interactive marine-themed displays and find out how to get involved with marine science. On Saturday 13 th April 2019 between 13:00-17:00, everyone, regardless of previous knowledge or skill, is welcome to attend. Returning and new faces are encouraged to dive in!

During the day, there will be many activities to get involved with, from seeing the diversity of animals that live on our shores, identifying tiny animals living on algae, getting familiar with some marine invaders and testing your knowledge with our barnacle game! We will be joined by current laboratory and field...

Marine heatwaves threaten global biodversity

Posted on Mar 4, 2019

Extreme weather events occur in the oceans as well as the atmosphere. Marine heatwaves – periods of anomalously high temperatures – are increasing in frequency, with 54% more heatwave days per year from 1987–2016, than from 1925–1954, yet their impacts on species and ecosystems are poorly known.

A paper published online this week in Nature Climate Change is the first to quantify and contrast the magnitude and impacts of several prominent marine heatwaves using the same methods and metrics. In doing so, the researchers show that marine heatwaves have negative effects on a broad range of marine organisms, with major socioeconomic and political ramifications.

The study, led by Dr Dan Smale of the Marine Biological Association (UK) and involving scientists from 7 different countries representing 19 different institutes, found that marine...

Massive biological shifts in the global ocean

Posted on Feb 25, 2019

A new study led by MBA scientists and using data from the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) survey shows how a warming ocean has led to unprecedented marine biological changes at the global level over the last decade, and that future changes will be stronger and have more severe effects on the living marine resources that we rely on.

Only a tiny fraction of the ocean is currently monitored for the effects of climate change, which limits our capability to predict its implications for marine biodiversity. Now, using a new model, a European-led, international team of marine scientists—including scientists from the Marine Biological Association (MBA), University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)—explains changes in marine communities on a global scale, and predicts that the increase in temperature will lead to major biological changes in the marine realm.


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 (...