Posted on Mar 20, 2021
The 20 th of March 2021 marks 80 years since the bombing of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) during the Plymouth Blitz in 1941. Today we’re sharing stories from the day from our Director, Willie Wilson, and staff member Rob Camp, whose great uncle was a warden in the city during the Blitz.
The MBA was partly destroyed by fire.
Stanley Wells Kemp FRS was Director of the MBA from 1936 to 1945. At the time, the Director and his family resided at the building. On the evening of the 20 th of March the alert was sounded, and it quickly became apparent that an attack was taking place as hundreds of incendiaries were dropped on the city. As Dr Kemp and the fire guards searched the building, a familiar whine was heard and a bomb struck right outside of the Director’s kitchen...
Posted on Mar 8, 2021
Launching on International Women's Day on the 8th of March on the Plymouth Trails app, the new 1.2 mile route celebrates 100 years of Plymouth's Powerful Women, introducing some of the important and influential women who made a real difference to the City. As a maritime city, Plymouth has a long tradition of female activism and engagement as so many of its men were away at sea.
Starting at the Nancy Astor statue on the Hoe, the route visits locations where these women lived or worked, telling their stories through images, video, and text. Stop 2, "Breaking Scientific Boundaries", delves into the lives and achievements of some of our own change-making women...
Posted on Jan 19, 2021
Research carried out by scientists at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and institutes in Portugal and Spain, is the first to test whether expanding oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) in the oceans push sharks closer to the surface, making them more susceptible to capture by fisheries.
Climate-driven changes in the ocean are leading to reduced amounts of dissolved oxygen in seawater, known as ocean deoxygenation. It causes permanent OMZs that exist across the oceans, typically at depths of around 200-800 metres, to expand both horizontally and vertically. Ocean deoxygenation is likely to have important effects on large, high-oxygen demand fish such as pelagic sharks.
Blue sharks are...
Posted on Jan 8, 2021
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...
Posted on Jan 5, 2021
MBA researchers Katherine Helliwell, Glen Wheeler and Colin Brownlee in collaboration with scientists at Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) and the University of Warwick have shed light on how diatoms (a type of eukaryotic algae) sense the availability of phosphorus, a vital macronutrient which controls diatom growth and productivity in the oceans. The research, which has been published in the journal Current Biology , demonstrated a new role for calcium ion (Ca 2+ ) signalling in eukaryotes, for phosphate sensing, which has not previously been described.
Marine diatoms under the light microscope. ©Glen L. Wheeler
Diatoms are responsible for 20% of global primary...
Posted on Dec 31, 2020
Established by Sir Alistair Hardy in 1931, the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey has been collecting information about the health of our oceans, in the form of “plankton sandwiches”, for decades. Now in its 90 th year, the CPR survey have sampled over 7 million nautical miles of ocean – ample to be awarded the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance sampled by a marine survey!
continuous_plankton_recorder_unit.jpg A Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) unit.
David Johns, Head of the CPR Survey, said, “We are so proud of receiving a Guinness World Record, to have towed over 7 million miles is incredible, I’m sure Sir Alister Hardy would not...
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...