November 2019 YMB Blog

Posted on Nov 14, 2019

Welcome to the November 2019 YMB Blog!

Hello YMB Members! This month’s YMB Bulletin brings you some really exciting news and opportunities, especially for those of you starting to think of future careers in marine biology, those interested in climate change and the keen readers out there. So continue reading to find out more about why you should join us at the YMB Summit 2019, how to apply for Work Experience at the MBA, and for opportunities to apply to write YMB book reviews.

And remember, we would love you to contribute to the content of this blog as much as possible. Please share your stories, reports, finds and photos with us. Sharing your photos, writing, art work comments or questions with us for use in future blog content and bulletins may earn you an exclusive MBA pin badge! (see picture) email to: or share with us on Facebook...

Work Experience Week 2019

Posted on Nov 14, 2019

Each year in July, the Marine Biological Association welcomes six budding marine biologists aged 14 to 18 to the laboratory in Plymouth to showcase what we do here and get a taste of the career opportunities in marine biology. Of the many applications received each year, only six places are available making the selection process competitive.

This year’s successful students experienced working alongside professionals in many different fields of marine biology. Collecting data to help our current citizen science projects, such as Crab Watch, and inputting their results with our data analysts in DASSH (Data Archive for Seabed Species and Habitats). Working alongside our CPR (Continuous Plankton Recorder) researchers and plankton expert Dave Conway, to get a taste of current marine research by looking at plankton and their identification. This year’s students also had the...

Marine Science Camps 2019

Posted on Nov 13, 2019

Participant Seabird and marine mammal sampling

Over 100 young people, mainly aged 16-18, took part in the 2019 Marine Science Camps programme. The six camps were hosted at well-equipped FSC centres across the UK, and were co-delievered by experienced FSC tutors and MBA marine biologists. Each camp had a unique flavour and provided great opportunities to gain key skills in aquatic biology, ecosystem surveys and species identification, as well as to meet like-minded peers and professionals to gain insights into marine biology careers.

Participants have also been welcomed to the marine biology community through Young Marine Biologist or Student membership of the MBA. A further work experience opportunity was provided to five MBA student members to participate as mentors in the camps.

Below is the account of Matthew Boddy, who participated in the 'Rocky Shore, Freshwater Ecology, Marine Aquaria and Marine Microbiology...

Young Plymouth scientists shine at the International Conference of Young Marine Researchers

Posted on Nov 8, 2019

Eight Plymouth University students (six of whom are affiliated with the MBA) at the International Conference of Young Marine Researchers (ICYMARE; ), which took place on 25 - 28 September in Bremen (Germany).

Arianna Liconti reports:

The attendees from left to right are:

Sylvan Benaksas : recently completed the MRes Marine Biology on pelagic sharks with David Sims as supervisor. Sylvan was presenting his MRes Thesis.

Antonia Uthoff : starting the MRes Marine Biology this month.

Nadia Frontier : recently completed BSc Marine Biology with Coastal Ecology, she has been an intern in the MBA's Smale Group this summer.

Arianna Liconti : recently completed the MRes Marine Biology on Mediterranean gorgonian forests in collaboration with Reef Check Italia, with Nova Mieszkowska as supervisor. I was...

The MBA one of 10 institutions supported by Wellcome funding for the Darwin Tree of Life project

Posted on Nov 8, 2019

Algae and invertebrates on a seabed off southwest England. Marine biodiversity represents a largely untapped source of raw materials for biotechnology.

An ambitious project to map the genomes of all life of the British Isles

An unprecedented insight to the diverse range of species on and around the British Isles will be made possible by Wellcome funding to the Darwin Tree of Life Project.

The £9.4m funding will support the 10 Institutions involved in the project to launch the first phase of sequencing all the species on and around the British Isles. This will see the teams collect and barcode around 8000 key British species, and deliver high-quality genomes of 2000 species.

This work will act as a launchpad for a larger ambition to, ultimately, sequence all species on Earth. Exploring the genomes of these organisms will give an unprecedented insight into how life on Earth evolved and uncover new genes, proteins and metabolic pathways as well as new drugs for infectious and inherited...

The UK's first National Marine Park is now a reality

Posted on Oct 8, 2019

Representatives from the business, science, local government, conservation agencies, and NGOs gathered on Friday to take the next step towards the establishment of a National Marine Park off Plymouth.

A boat trip on Friday for representatives around Plymouth Sound in warm September sunshine preceded a ceremony at the Lord Mayor's residence at which a Statement of Intent for the National Marine Park was signed.

Anglers, recreational sailors, commercial fishers, port operations, the Naval dockyard, strollers on the waterfront - many of the various uses of the estuary and coastal waters were on display, all set against the abundant natural beauty for which Plymouth Sound is famous.


People and marine environment in Plymouth Sound, the site of the new National Marine Park.

Less well-known is the abundance and diversity of Plymouth's...

Prestigious Future Leaders Fellowship for MBA researcher

Posted on Sep 18, 2019

UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships award announcement

A research scientist at the MBA has been awarded a prestigious Future Leaders Fellowship as part of a new scheme funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The scheme aims to establish the careers of world-class research and innovation leaders across UK business and academia, and offers significant funding to address a critically important issue.

Dr Dan Smale, a marine ecologist at the MBA, was awarded an FLF to study the impacts of rapid ocean warming on marine ecosystems globally. The project will involve running innovative warming experiments on a range of organisms, as well as analysing existing datasets and conducting surveys and experiments in different marine habitats.

Dr Smale said, “I’m delighted and honoured to be awarded this prestigious fellowship and look forward to...