Memories of our late Royal Patron, HRH Prince Philip

Posted on Jun 8, 2021

On what would have been his 100th birthday, we look back over his time as MBA Royal Patron and share some of our favourite memories.

For over 60 years, the MBA had the privilege of having HRH Prince Philip appointed as Royal Patron. During this time, the Prince showed a keen interest in raising public awareness of the relationship of humanity with the environment, and was passionate about scientific and technological research and development. In 2014, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the MBA, the greatest honour bestowed by the Association, given to persons of distinction who have made significant contributions to the MBA.


HRH Prince Philip played an active role as Royal Patron, joining us at a variety of events where he made a point of engaging with MBA staff and students. A selection of memories from staff include:

At the...

Marine Research Plymouth cements city’s reputation as the UK’s go-to location for marine science

Posted on Jun 8, 2021

Plymouth Hoe
rs2979_rs1997_rs1950_website_banner_hoe-lpr.jpg Marine Research Plymouth cements city’s reputation as the UK’s go-to location for marine science Today, the city of Plymouth has seen its position as an international centre of excellence for marine research further enhanced after its three leading science organisations joined forces to launch Marine Research Plymouth.

The University of Plymouth, the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory already have world-leading reputations individually across a range of marine disciplines and have strong track records in delivering projects for governments, industry and research bodies.

Collectively, however, they host the largest number of marine scientists in any UK city and the greatest number of undergraduate and postgraduate marine students anywhere in the country.

Between them, they alerted the world to...

The Marine Biologist magazine: Arctic Special Issue is Open Access

Posted on Apr 6, 2021

The changing Arctic Ocean and new research in the UK and Russia

The Arctic Ocean is the fastest warming region on Earth. In the new Special Issue of The Marine Biologist magazine we focus on concerted international scientific efforts to better understand the changing Arctic Ocean. Access to The Marine Biologist magazine is usually an exclusive benefit of MBA membership, however, for a limited period we are releasing this Special Issue on Open Access.

From phytoplankton to polar bears and permafrost, the stories and images from UK and Russian contributors give an authentic flavour of this cold and remote ocean, and its global importance. Highlights include Changing Arctic Ocean projects with close links with researchers in Russia, an article on MOSAiC , the biggest Arctic expedition in history, and a conversation with Professor...

CPR data contribute to Scotland's latest Marine Assessment

Posted on Jan 8, 2021

Scotland’s latest Marine Assessment reveals significant changes are taking place at the heart of the marine food web, with potential for impacts on the wider pelagic environment.

For the first time, a team of researchers has published an assessment based on all available plankton time-series data from Scottish waters to investigate the current state of the plankton community, and therefore ocean health, and to identify if it has changed over time.

Researchers from Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the Scottish Association for Marine Science and the Marine Biological Association worked together to combine available plankton data in an attempt to understand conditions in the pelagic environment. Plankton form the very base of the marine foodweb, and are excellent indicators of marine health. This combined approach...

Applications now open for 2020/2021 Zooplankton Ring Test

Posted on Oct 29, 2020

We are pleased to announce applications are now open to take part in this year's Zooplankton Ring Test

Zooplankton are included in the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) as an indicator group; however, until recently, there were few other current standards for their sampling and identification. As such, the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group (HBDSEG) identified a need for a quality control mechanism for the correct identification of zooplankton.

The Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey (part of the Marine Biological Association, based in Plymouth, UK) provides a Zooplankton Ring-Test on behalf of the NMBAQC scheme. Held every two years, the ring-test assesses the quality of zooplankton identification through practical tests and additional workshops*.

Encouraging consistency amongst zooplankton analysts, within and between different...

Plankton sampling resumes in Gulf of Maine as survey awarded 4 year funding programme

Posted on Oct 16, 2020

The Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey has been running for nearly 90 years, but scientists hope this new project will help shed light on the significant decline in population numbers of endangered North Atlantic right whales.

This autumn, ships in the Gulf of Maine will once again be towing Continuous Plankton Recorders (CPRs) thanks to a new four year project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northeast Fisheries Science Center, hosted by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Each month, CPRs will collect plankton samples from this region, identifying changes in plankton species and distribution. The resulting data will help provide valuable insights into the health of the marine environment and help inform effective management action.

Deploying a CPR at sea Plankton form the base of the marine food chain, providing...

The latest edition of The Marine Biologist magazine: how do we do science and relate to nature in a changing world?

Posted on Oct 15, 2020

Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico. Image © Enric Sala.

Bringing you the latest in marine biological research, education, policy, and much more, the MBA's membership magazine The Marine Biologist is for everyone who loves life in the sea. The latest issue is full of great images and exciting and thought-provoking content.


The October edition is all about how we do science and our relationship with nature. We proudly feature TV presenter Paul Rose , who also happens to be Expedition Leader for the National Geographic’s thrilling Pristine Seas project. Paul has years of experience leading exploration and making science possible in the most remote locations. Paul describes his role in the Pristine Seas project and how he has used the enforced pause in expedition activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to reflect on our relationship with nature. He offers a set of values which he hopes will...