NEW! 'The viral teaspoon' is a podcast by the MBA Press Gang about life, science and everything

Posted on Jul 22, 2019

The viral teaspoon is a podcast led by the MBA’s Press Gang that focuses on current issues in marine science, what life is like as a research student (and how to get over that fearful imposter syndrome!) and how some of their favourite faces here at the MBA got to where they are now.

In the inaugural episode, the team discuss everything from their own research projects to the hidden tunnels of the MBA, and discover that charismatic mega-fauna is not the way to every marine biologist’s heart!


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Government announces designation of 41 new marine protected areas

Posted on Jul 11, 2019

The government has announced the designation of a third and final phase of new marine protected areas. These Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) are areas that protect a range of nationally important, rare or threatened habitats and species.

Forty-one sites and 12 additional features were designated on 31 May 2019. These designations will fulfil the remit of the Marine and Coastal Access Act and essentially completes the UK Blue Belt, and the governments contribution to the ecologically coherent network in the North East Atlantic in terms of the representation of species and habitats.

Similar schemes are operating in Wales , Scotland and Northern Ireland to contribute to a UK-wide network of marine protected areas.

See the full list of English MCZs

See the governments guidance note on Marine Conservation Zones .

Visit the JNCC website for more...

MBA student wins best poster presentation at international conference

Posted on Jul 10, 2019

An MBA student has won the best student poster presentation at an international conference.

Arianna Liconti won a scholarship from Copernicus publications to attend the IMBER Future Oceans 2 conference which took place at Brest, France from 17-21 June. She is currently studying for a MRes in Marine Biology with the Marine Biodiversity and Climate Change group.

Arianna won the best student poster presentation with her poster: Science for the future: citizen science in marine research and conservation , coming top in a field of over 60 international participants. She said "It was a huge honour for me to win this award and I believe it also highlights the international validity of the outstanding work of the Marine Biological Association in developing and running marine citizen science projects, particularly regarding the success of the ‘Capturing our Coast’...

MBA at the Devon County Show!

Posted on Jun 26, 2019

devon county show

The Devon County Show is a large event with an estimated 100,000 visitors between the 16 th and the 18 th of May. The event boasted an Ocean Discovery Zone, organised by Sea Dream Education CIC with stands, activities and artworks by a range of marine organisations including the MBA (Marine Biological Association).

Our work focussed on the weird and wonderful plankton in our ocean. After seeing the inner workings of a CPR (Continuous Plankton Recorder) , children and adults were tasked with drawing what they believe we catch using our CPRs (pictured). The imagination of those who took part produced plankton that were astoundingly similar to those that are found in Plymouth Sound.

We also had live plankton from Plymouth Sound under microscopes, where there was lots of interesting plankton to see. One particular highlight was a spinning epitoke, the reproductive organ...

Disturbing decline in West Philippine Sea coral reef diversity revealed

Posted on Jun 12, 2019

Marine Science Institute researchers and Philippine Navy divers work together to conduct the surveys in the West Philippine Sea, photo credit: Edwin Dumalagan

A recent paper by Timothy Quimpo and colleagues, published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (JMBA), has revealed that coral reefs in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) have low abundance and diversity of corals and fish. Even the deeper areas of the reefs, the upper mesophotic coral ecosystems that are presumed to be buffered from disturbances, showed similar benthic and coral assemblage composition as the shallow water reefs, suggesting that both depths are vulnerable to disturbances.

The West Philippine Sea is a biodiversity hotspot and known source of fish and corals for reefs in surrounding countries. With the declining condition of WPS reefs, the abundance and diversity of fish and corals on other reefs could also be affected. This calls for regional efforts for better management and conservation of the area.


Upcoming Training Courses at the MBA

Posted on May 29, 2019

We are running a programme of exciting training courses for marine science professionals, educators and naturalists. All of our courses are delivered by experienced professionals and include a generous discount for MBA members, so please consider joining the MBA if you haven’t already.

Safety & Safeguarding at the Water's Edge June 11th – 12th Short Course: Introduction to British Crab Identification July 4th Marine Science Education Training Weekend (FREE COURSE) July 13th -14th Short Course: Introduction to British Anemones and Corals October 12th Effective teaching, training and presenting for marine scientists November 19 th -21 st (enquire for further details) Short Course: An introduction to Scientific Illustration November 30th – December 1st

All of these courses...

North Atlantic Ocean productivity has dropped 10 per cent during Industrial era

Posted on May 20, 2019

Research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that planktonic stocks in the subarctic Atlantic have been declining steadily over the past 200 years in response to climate forcing.

In a paper published today in Nature , Matthew Osman, the paper’s lead author and a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography, tracked the decline by measuring the levels of a substance called methanesulphonic acid or MSA, in ice cores from Greenland.

Phytoplankton blooms put chemicals into the atmosphere, some of which decay into MSA which is subsequently deposited across the region on land and sea. When locked in layers of ice, these chemicals produce a unique record of phytoplankton productivity over time.

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