Minister for the Environment Dr Therese Coffey visits Citadel Hill

Posted on Feb 26, 2018

Dr Matt Frost (Director, MBA) and Prof. Willie Wilson (Director, SAHFOS) hosted Minister for the Environment Dr Therese Coffey at the Citadel Hill laboratory, Plymouth on March 1st. A working lunch was held in the MBA’s Wolfson Room where Dr Coffey also met with representatives from the University of Plymouth, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the National Marine Aquarium. Dr Coffey was then given a tour where she was shown rare exhibits from the National Marine Biological Library and the SAHFOS Continuous Plankton Recorder. Dr Michael Cunliffe then led a tour of the MBAs Cell and Molecular laboratories including demonstrations of unique microscopy facilities.

MBA Fellow Dr Michael Cunliffe said “It was a pleasure to demonstrate examples of the fundamental biological research that we undertake at the MBA to improve our understanding of the functioning of marine microbial life...

Make a Sea Change

Posted on Feb 22, 2018

Sea Change reports - the Sea Change project is coming to an end but wanted to refer to its great achievements over the last three years and the ongoing work.

Make a small change for a sea change:

Academia and industry are invited to submit proposals for access to research facilities and technology platforms

Posted on Feb 22, 2018

Diatom. Colin Brownlee

The EU-funded Horizon 2020 EMBRIC (European Marine Biological Research Infrastructure Cluster ) Research Infrastructures project 2 nd call For Transnational Access has been announced.

Users from academia and industry are invited to submit proposals in the field of Marine Biotechnology for access to research facilities and technology platforms:

The MBA is an EMBRIC Transnational Access consortium member and is offering access to state of the art facilities:

Access to ecosystems and Sampling facilities (including use of MBA Research Vessel Sepia ) Culture collections and biobanks Cultivation and rearing facilities (aquarium and circulating sweater systems) Microscopy and bio-imaging Molecular biology facilities

Access to MBA facilities and platforms is accompanied by full technical and logistical support.


Blueprint: An opportunity for public engagement training and practice

Posted on Feb 21, 2018

Marine biological survey

Blueprint: The Future of Our Seas

Opportunity for Public Engagement Training and Practice

Human well-being is directly affected by the health of our seas, yet public awareness of many of the challenges facing the marine environment remains low. For decades, researchers have investigated issues such as non-native species, climate change, pollution, overfishing, and ocean acidification, but these topics are only recently gathering interest from outside the academic community.

This year, NERC and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) are offering the opportunity to work with public engagement professionals, artists and creatives to train and to inspire scientists.

Training will talke place in Plymouth and Oban.

The deadline for applications for the Plymouth training is 5pm on Friday...

From Plymouth Sound to the Weddell Sea

Posted on Feb 15, 2018

Aisling Smith

Aisling Smith, the RV MBA Sepia ’s former Manager left us in January to start a new adventure with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) as the Laboratory Manager for the Royal Survey Ship Sir David Attenborough . Although we were sad to see her leave we are delighted to hear that she is joining the Larsen C Research Cruise to assist with the urgent study of the benthic ecosystem under the Antarctic ice shelf.

Mission lead Dr Katrin Linse from British Antarctic Survey said “The calving of [iceberg] A-68 provides us with a unique opportunity to study marine life as it responds to a dramatic environmental change. It’s important we get there quickly before the undersea environment changes as sunlight enters the water and new species begin to colonise. We’ve put together a team with a wide range of scientific skills so that we can collect as much information as...

Tiny probes measure cell surface pH in diatoms

Posted on Feb 14, 2018

© Marine Biological Association

Epifluorescence microscopy of the large marine diatom Odontella sinensis showing the arrangement of the chloroplasts.

Marine diatoms contribute significantly to photosynthesis in our oceans and act as the base of the food chain in many of the most productive fisheries. The process of photosynthesis in phytoplankton is affected by cell size, as the rate at availability of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) is much lower around large diffusion-limited cells.

To investigate how large marine phytoplankton, such as diatoms, overcome the problems of diffusion limitation, scientists at the MBA have developed techniques to measure the concentrations of inorganic carbon at the surface of individual diatom cells. By using tiny ion-selective microelectrodes, the research team were able to measure pH, oxygen and carbonate ion concentrations around the large diatom Odontella sinensis during photosynthesis. The results indicate that photosynthesis leads to dramatic changes in pH at the cell surface of...

Frédérique Viard awarded CNRS silver medal

Posted on Feb 8, 2018

Frederique Viard
In a ceremony at the Station Biologique de Roscoff (SBR) on 30th January, Frédérique Viard was presented with the silver medal of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in recognition of the originality, quality and importance of her work. Frédérique's research at the SBR over the last fifteen years has focused on the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the introduction of non-native species into marine ecosystems, including the role of hybridization between native species and incoming related taxa. The MBA has enjoyed productive collaborations with Frédérique in European initiatives such as the Marine Genomics Europe network of excellence (EU Framework 6) and Marinexus (Interreg IVA), and the ‘Marine Aliens and Climate Change’ project (Axa Research Fund). Well done Fred!