New MBA research quantifies UK kelp productivity

Posted on Oct 4, 2020

Fundamental understanding of the ecology of kelp forests is lacking in many regions. New MBA research in the journal Scientific Reports addresses this knowledge gap by quantifying the rate of productivity of kelp forests across UK waters.

Fieldwork took place on kelp forests ( Laminaria hyperborea ) at multiple subtidal habitats in the UK spanning 9° of latitude.

The research measured a range of environmental factors and quantified kelp productivity. Lead author Dan Smale and his team showed that net primary productivity was greater in cooler water, (around 1.5 times greater in the northern sites compared to warm southernmost sites) with clear implications for warming seas.

Dr Smale said: "The study shows that these kelp forests are extremely productive and likely to be an important component of inshore carbon cycles, and may play a role in natural...

World misses milestone for biodiversity

Posted on Sep 21, 2020

The Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 report published by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is out now. The headline is that the world has missed all 20 of the Aichi biodiversity targets, in what the RSPB describes as “a lost decade for nature”.

In the marine environment, protected areas have increased from 3 – 7%, against a target of 10%. A third of marine fish stocks are overfished – a higher proportion than ten years ago. Unsustainable bycatch of non-target species is still of concern in many fisheries. Plastic pollution continues to increase with largely unknown consequences. The target to maintain the integrity and functioning of coral reefs was missed, with multiple stressors on top of climate change contributing to the degradation of 60% of coral reefs.

The authors of the report point to funding as a particular problem. Funding for activities that...

Report on the marine ecosystems of south west England is out now

Posted on Jul 23, 2020

The South West Marine Ecosystems 2019 Annual Report is now available. The report captures and brings together observations of this English region's spectacular marine life, which have included jellyfish blooms, fish never before seen in south west England, even a swordfish washed ashore in Somerset!

This is the sixth report in the series which represents a substantial collaborative effort by many organisations and individuals.The information is shared with over 650 people on the South-West Marine Ecosystems mailing list.

Many of the region's marine research and conservation bodies contribute information and expertise, but what makes the SWME report unique is that it documents ongoing observations made by the public, for example ad hoc records posted on social media, or through citizen science projects. As Keith Hiscock, lead editor of the report and...

Dr Bill Langston (1951–2020)

Posted on Jul 23, 2020


Dr Bill Langston (1951–2020)

The funeral of Dr Bill Langston is being held on July 24 th 2020. Bill Langston has worked at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) since 1977 and became an MBA Associate Fellow in 2000. Bill was highly regarded both by the academic scientific community and by consultants and government agencies who valued his expertise on, amongst other things, the anthropogenic impacts of metals, pollutants and endocrine disruptors on aquatic ecosystems. A review of his work was published recently in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association ( JMBA ) as part of the 100 th volume celebrations.

Bill collaborated widely with partners across the Plymouth institutes but also nationally and internationally. Tributes coming in from far and wide are a testament to how much he will...

The first ever July edition of The Marine Biologist magazine is now on release!

Posted on Jul 20, 2020

We are proud to announce that the first ever July edition of The Marine Biologist magazine is now on release!

The Marine Biologist is the world's leading magazine dedicated to marine biology, bringing you the best in research, careers, conservation, policy and more. We have been working to improve TMB and make it more easily accessible. We have doubled production to 4 editions a year, which means more marine biology news and articles, and more big-name authors. Most importantly, more frequent publication means more opportunities for MBA members around the world to get involved and have their work published alongside well-known figures in the field.

Access to the most recent editions is restricted to MBA members, but back issues of the magazine are now available online via our...

The Marine Biological Association awarded £1.35-million Wolfson grant towards a new Marine Microbiome Centre of Excellence.

Posted on Jul 10, 2020

Artist impression of laboratory internal space. Copyright Burwell Architects.

The Marine Biological Association has been awarded a £1.35-million Wolfson grant towards a new Marine Microbiome Centre of Excellence.

This new world-class research centre will focus on the vast and diverse microscopic world of the ocean to help understand ocean health and the impacts of climate change.

The funding will contribute towards this ambitious infrastructure investment. The Wolfson Foundation support organisations that create, preserve and disseminate knowledge.

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said: “ We were enormously impressed by the quality of the current research at the MBA, and the ambition to create world-class research infrastructure to match. The broad area of marine biology could scarcely be of greater importance at the current moment, and we are delighted to...

MBA microscopy image takes first prize in the Hilda Canter-Lund 2020 image competition

Posted on Jul 10, 2020

Image of a Coscinodiscus diatom isolated from a seawater sample taken in the English Channel (UK).

Davis Laundon's image of diatom has bagged first prize in the Hilda Canter-Lund 2020 image competition .

Davis is a MBA PhD student in the Cunliffe Group applying quantitative microscopy tools to investigate the cell biology of aquatic protists. Currently, Davis is investigating the interactions between marine protists and diatoms.

This award was established by the British Phycological Society in recognition of Hilda Canter-Lund, whose stunning photographs will be known to many members. Her photomicrographs of freshwater algae combined high technical and aesthetic qualities whilst still capturing the quintessence of the organisms she was studying.The BPS Council offers an annual award (presently £250) for a photograph on a phycological theme that best combines these informative, technical and aesthetic qualities. It can be of a micro- or macroalga,...