The Ocean Decade Writing Challenge – Winners and Runners-up

Posted on Jun 23, 2021

The Ocean Decade Writing Challenge – Winners and Runners-up

Ana-Maria Munteanu and Ellie Sillar were named the winners of the Ocean Decade Writing Challenge during a Marine Biology Live session in conversation with author, Dr Helen Scales. 6 runners-up – Faron Quinn, Maddie Evans, Ruby Hobbs, Alina Bhaiwala, Imogen Day, and Oscar Petter – have also been selected.

The Ocean Decade Writing Challenge is an initiative led by science communicators at the Marine Biological Association in partnership with author and presenter, Dr Helen Scales. The event was launched in November 2020 during the MBA’s first online Young Marine Biologist summit, which celebrated the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030). Contestants were asked to consider ’10 years in the ocean,’ and given complete creative freedom to explore their own personal...

First of its kind study uses Continuous Plankton Recorder to investigate cholera outbreaks in Central Africa

Posted on Jun 22, 2021

The expedition team and all the ship's crew on board the vessel used in this project.

A scientific expedition using a Continuous Plankton Recorder from the Marine Biological Association has helped investigate the role of tropical lakes as reservoirs of the cholera-causing bacteria, Vibrio cholerae .

Cholera is an extremely virulent disease with an estimated 1.3-4 million cases, and 21,000-143,000 deaths worldwide. Little research has been carried out in cholera hotspots, such as tropical lake ecosystems, due to the sheer size and remoteness of such locations, and the difficulties associated with identifying virulent strains of the bacteria using traditional molecular analysis methods.

Lake Tanganyika, in Central Africa, is the world’s second largest freshwater lake, and a recognised cholera hotspot. Funded by the National Geographic Society (USA) and coordinated by Prof Luigi Vezzulli from the University of Genoa, an...

Anne Warner Fellowship Supports Research into the Evolution of Early Branching Metazoans

Posted on Jun 14, 2021

MBA Research Fellow Dr Vengamanaidu (Venky) Modepalli
Anne Warner Fellowship Supports Research into the Evolution of Early Branching Metazoans

In October 2018, a new Research Fellow Dr Vengamanaidu (Venky) Modepalli arrived at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) with a goal to understand the evolution of early life forms at the molecular and genomic level and its impact on current animal diversity. Over the past years, Venky’s research has been supported by the Anne Warner Research Fellowship, established following a substantial legacy being bequeathed to the MBA by eminent scientist Professor Anne Warner in 2012. Following a recent memoir published by the Royal Society, we’re taking a look at Anne’s ongoing contributions to research at the MBA.

img_20190701_172209_2.jpg Anne Warner was Professor of Anatomy and Embryology at University College London and a former Foulerton Professor of the Royal Society. She had a long and...

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...