136 years of marine biology: Happy birthday to the MBA!

Posted on Mar 31, 2020

The Marine Biological Association was founded on this day in 1884.

The MBA was born on this day in 1884! We may be 136 years old, but the MBA is a force for the future of marine biology. The Association is a growing, international community of marine biology professionals, researchers, students, and the interested public. Also, our world-class research teams at our Citadel Hill laboratory in Plymouth, UK push scientific boundaries, collaborate on the global stage and nurture future talent.

In 2013, the Association was granted a Royal Charter in recognition of its long and eminent history and its status within the field of marine biology.

The Marine Biological Association has a world-leading reputation for marine biological research....

Marine biologist recognised by European funding for pioneering research

Posted on Mar 31, 2020

New smart-tag technology grant awarded to measure ocean predator physiology and distributions.

A marine scientist at the Marine Biological Association of the UK (MBA) Laboratory in Plymouth, UK, has been awarded a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant to fund cutting edge research that addresses climate change impacts on threatened ocean predators.

The ERC Advanced awards are funded through the EU and are worth up to €2.5M, enabling established top researchers to explore their most creative, high-risk ideas, and leading to the creation of jobs including scientific and technical support positions.

The grant has been awarded to Professor David Sims, a Senior Research Fellow at the MBA and professor at the University of Southampton, with the aim to understand how large, active predators such as sharks and tuna will be...

Zoological Society of London launches national native oyster quest to find forgotten British treasure

Posted on Mar 29, 2020


Wildlife photographers across the UK are being challenged to capture underwater images of the rare European native oyster ( Ostrea edulis ), as international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London) launches a national native oyster hunt to galvanise support for the species. Having suffered a 95% decline in population over the last 200 years due to historic overfishing, habitat loss, pollution and the introduction of diseases, images of the species in their natural habitat on the seabed are very rare.

Project managers hope that images and video generated through the competition will help to answer questions around the oysters’ recovery, including revealing if there are indeed any oyster reefs left and whether other endangered species like the spiny seahorse ( Hippocampus guttulatus ) or European eel ( Anguilla anguilla ) are associated with the...

Message from our Director: update on MBA’s activities during COVID-19 outbreak

Posted on Mar 19, 2020

Message from our Director

Continuation of MBA’s activities during COVID-19 outbreak

Update 23 March 2020: Unfortunately, all events and training courses hosted at the MBA's Citadel Hill Laboratory have been cancelled until further notice. We look forward to offering you further training opportunities as soon as possible.

While many of our staff are currently working from home and not travelling during this COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to reassure you that we will continue to deliver our research, commitments, and core business during this time to our very best ability and where we can assure the safety of our staff. Association (membership) activities are continuing as close to normal as we can manage.

Our staff are passionate and...

Changes in British rocky shore communities in response to climate change

Posted on Mar 12, 2020

The MBA MarClim® time-series has just been published by MBA's Nova Mieszkowska and the MarClim team in the scientific journal Global Change Biology. The time-series tracks shift in the range of species in response to climate change, and discovered intertidal invertebrates are showing some of the fastest responses of animals in any natural system.

The MarClim® project time-series data contributes to national monitoring, and has the most spatio-temporally extensive time-series for rocky intertidal organisams globally. Data stretches back to the 1950s for native species of macroalgae and invertberates that have a range of thermal evolutionary origins. Annual surveys are carried out at over 100 sites around the UK coastline, including locations beyond the current range-edges of species, to ensure detection of any future shifts in species biogeographic distributions. The...

My four months at the MBA…

Posted on Mar 10, 2020

In November 2019, I started working as a science communication volunteer here at the MBA and as my time is now coming to an end I am sitting at my desk taking a moment to reflect on everything I have done during this period.

After four years of University education, I really didn’t know what I was going to do next: not ready to start a PhD but still wanting to be involved in all things marine science. With an interest in science communication and an understanding that many jobs now require you to have some degree of social media experience, this volunteering placement seemed like the perfect opportunity.

First, let me tell you about the view from this desk or even better let me show you….

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As a person who has always been adverse to a desk-based job, this view and the openness of Plymouth Sound definitely makes sitting at a desk bearable and...

YMB Summit 2019 - no room for disappointment!

Posted on Feb 26, 2020

Following huge successes in 2017 and 2018 , for its third edition, the Young Marine Biologist Summit returned to the home of marine biology, Plymouth, on Saturday 14 th December 2019, with forty Young Marine Biologists (YMB’s) taking part in this annual cross-generational celebration of marine biology.

Conversations throughout the day were focused on Climate Change, with the hope of encouraging young people to share their views, while informing their debate on the topic. All speakers (including YMBs) and workshop facilitators were therefore encouraged to explore how their particular subjects may be influenced by climate change. With topics ranged from the weird and wonderful behaviours of marine animals to a comprehensive insight into the world of marine microbes and their role in maintaining ocean health, to ocean literacy and the use of animals in science...