World Association of Marine Stations: Mobilising global capacity and facilitating networking and capacity building

Posted on May 17, 2022

The World Association of Marine Stations (WAMS), has made a voluntary commitment to "Mobilising global capacity and facilitating networking and capacity building".

These commitments were sought as part of the 2022 UN Oceans Conference and will be an important element in supporting the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This commitment by WAMS (led by and hosted at the Marine Biological Association), will enable better identification of global capacity through the launch of the first Global Atlas of Marine Stations.

WAMS will also work with MARS and the MBA to establish bursary schemes for travel between countries in order to promote capacity building and the sharing of expertise to promote an equity in ocean science communities. Full details can be found on the website . Contact WAMS via email or WAMS Chair Dr Matt Frost FMBA.

Obituary: Geoffrey W Potts

Posted on May 16, 2022


Geoff was born on 15th February 1941 and died on Easter Monday 18th April 2022. His funeral will be held on Saturday 21st May in Cornwall. If you would like to attend please contact Willie Wilson for details.

Geoff was a tall man with a craggy face but gentle with it. His main interest for much of his academic life was in fish behaviour and he was a pioneer in the research community for the use of scuba diving to make observations of fish in their natural habitat. Paul Hart has memories of him describing, with great enthusiasm, how he had been observing the behaviour of whiting off the Plymouth breakwater. One of the main groups of fish that Geoff worked on were the wrasses and he did much to elucidate the intricacies of their mating and cleaning behaviours. Geoff was a brilliant artist and illustrated his ideas and findings with his own drawings....

Test page

Posted on May 5, 2022

Leading UK marine scientists welcome the move towards a global plastics pact ahead of major UN meeting

Posted on Feb 23, 2022



Plastic pollution is universally accepted as having dire effects on the world’s marine life and ecosystems, in addition to presenting risks to human health including through the leaching of chemical additives and consumption of microplastics contained in seafood. Yet while there are a number of international, national and localised commitments, policies and initiatives designed to reduce plastic pollution and marine litter, there is currently no singular, binding policy with measurable targets at global level.

With emissions of plastic waste into aquatic ecosystems projected to nearly triple by 2040 without meaningful action, the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (which runs from the 28 February to 2 March in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme of “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”) is...

The Conchological Society blog

Posted on Feb 15, 2022


Those of us working on the Darwin Tree of Life (DToL) project based at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) are on a mission to collect and identify all Eukaryote species in the ocean surrounding Britain and Ireland.

Some of these are notoriously tricky to identify, so we often work with experts who know a lot about specific groups. Back in the summer of 2021 the DToL team left the MBA for Pembrokeshire, to join a team of keen experts from the Conchological Society in a marine mollusc hunt.

Our first day found us wading through deep pools and into some dark caves, with Conch soc member Bas Payne. We were searching the walls for a tiny marine cave snail called Otina ovata, which tend to live above the line of barnacles and other invertebrates, on the smoother walls.

Otina ovata at first glance look like tiny limpets,...

Women in STEM: My journey as a marine biologist

Posted on Feb 11, 2022

Kesella Scott-Somme

Kesella Scott-Somme

This week as many celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we've put the spotlight on one of our female scientists.

Kesella Scott-Somme , Research Assistant on the Darwin Tree of Life project team at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) talks about her experience as a women in marine biology and how inclusivity is key in all STEM subjects.

"In 1878, UCL was the first British university to open its degrees to women. I went to UCL to do my masters in 2015. I tried to imagine what it might have been like to be one of those first women to study there. Finally able to work and have my achievements recognized, walking alone up to the imposing iron gates with fear sitting heavy in my gut. It may have been a progressive move for the university at the time, but I can’t imagine that the response from the men that worked and...

Happy Birthday, Charles Darwin!

Posted on Feb 10, 2022

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was born on 12 February 1809; which would make Saturday 12 February, 2022 his 213 th Birthday!

However the scientific journey he started is still just in its early days. In 1837 Darwin first sketched his theories of how life might evolve along the branches of an imaginary tree, which he referred to as the tree of life (TOL). This term and its related visualisations are still used today to show how different species relate back to common ancestors.

The tree of life is a useful way to think about how organisms relate to each other, but in evolutionary science, Darwin’s ideas on the specifics of evolution and how to categorize living things are still hotly debated.


“The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile largely speaks the truth.”...