What is a "sea flea"? Amphipods make the headlines!

Posted on Aug 10, 2017

Hyperiid Amphipod Jack Sewell
A benthic (living on or in the sea bed) amphipod.

Amphipods are small, shrimp-like invertebrates, and members of the sub-phylum Crustacea that includes crabs, lobsters and barnacles.

What is the difference between sea fleas and sea lice?

Sea fleas have been in the news recently. Common names often vary from area to area and what are known as “sea fleas” in Australia are called “sand hoppers” in the UK (e.g. the sand hopper Talitrus saltator see more at http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1820 )

Sea fleas/sand hoppers are amphipod crustaceans. There are many species, mostly marine but also some that live in freshwater and some that are terrestrial. See our YouTube video for an introduction to amphipods.

We use the term “sea lice” for parasitic copepods, best known for being parasites of salmon (and a problem for salmon farms). However, in other...

The Marine Climate Change Impacts report makes a splash

Posted on Aug 6, 2017

MCCIP Report Card 2017

A major assessment of climate change impacts on the UK marine environment over the past decade is released today.

Furthermore, the importance of the 2017 Marine Climate Change Impact Partnership (MCCIP) report card, which examines what was reported in 2006 and how this has changed for key topic areas over the past 10 years, has been recognized by Sir David Attenborough. He said: " Concern about the state of our seas has caused them to be studied more intensively – and extensively – than ever before. Here is a summary of the findings. They have never been more important. "

The Partnership brings together scientists, government, its agencies and NGOs to provide co-ordinated advice on climate change impacts and adaptation around our coast and in our seas.

The 2017 report card has also provided lessons for science to policy reporting. The MBA's Dr Matt...

Seaweeds succumb to viruses too!

Posted on Aug 4, 2017

oar weed (Laminaria digitata)

Scientists from Plymouth are warning the UK kelp biofuel industry to beware of viruses. Whilst known to infect certain types of seaweed, a new study published in the ISME Journal is the first to describe viruses in kelps, which are important both ecologically and commercially.

Researchers from the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and University of Plymouth examined Laminaria and Saccharina kelps commonly occurring around the British Isles, and which include target species for the emerging kelp biofuel industry. They detected viruses by searching at the molecular level for their DNA 'fingerprint', and their presence was confirmed by observation of symptoms of infection using conventional and electron microscopy.

Kelps are the largest brown seaweeds, engineering temperate rocky coastlines into complex habitats comparable to terrestrial forests,...

MBA and partners make the headlines with MCCIP Report

Posted on Jul 31, 2017

The UK Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership’s report on 10 years of science to policy reporting on the impacts of climate change made media headlines nationally and internationally. The Marine Biological Association’s Dr Matt Frost did a number of interviews in response to interest in issues such as changes in UK fish and bird populations. The fact that the project has involved hundreds of scientists and been running for over 10 years adds a significant weight to the evidence being presented – perhaps the reason that the media has taken particular interest in this story.

ITV News - http://www.itv.com/news/2017-07-28/how-rising-and-warming-uk-seawater-is-impacting-wildlife/

Radio Cornwall - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p057t095 (From 33 mins 27s)

The Hindu - http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/who-moved-my-fish/article19382037.ece


July 2017 YMB Blog

Posted on Jul 27, 2017

Welcome to the July 2017 YMB Blog!

Hello YMB Members! I hope you will join me in celebrating the news I bring for you today - The YMB Summit 2017 tickets are now available for sale - continue reading for more information. Also this month, the Blog brings you a YMB Member Article by Jordan Havell with his latest discoveries. Last but not least, I remind you that nominations for the 2017 UK Awards for Biological Recording and Information are still open, and share with you an interesting video about the journey of water. I hope you will enjoy this month's reading.

And remember, we would love you to contribute to the content of this blog as much as possible. Please share your stories, reports, finds and photos with us. Sharing your photos, writing, art work comments or questions with us for use in future blog content and bulletins may earn you an...

What have marine microbes ever done for us?

Posted on Jul 26, 2017

Dr Michael Cunliffe, MBA Research Fellow

What have marine microbes ever done for us? MBA Resarch Fellow Dr Michael Cunliffe puts in a word for the small things in this fascinating interview .

Visit Dr Cunliffe's web pages .


A new review on the roles of vitamins in phytoplankton nutrition

Posted on Jul 21, 2017

MBA researcher Dr Katherine Helliwell has published a new review examining how and why many important species of marine phytoplankton need vitamins in order to survive. Vitamins often act as co-factors for essential metabolic pathways, although many algae are unable to synthesise their own vitamins and must obtain them from neighbouring organisms in their environment. Vitamin nutrition therefore appears to play an important role in marine ecosystems and underpins a complex network of interactions between phytoplankton and certain types of marine bacteria that we are only just beginning to understand. The full article can be accessed by following the link below.

The roles of B vitamins in phytoplankton nutrition: new perspectives and prospects

Katherine E. Helliwell

New Phytologist DOI: 10.1111/nph.14669