Plymouth science institutions merge, promising a stronger future for marine biology

Posted on Apr 4, 2018

The Marine Biological Association and The Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey (CPR Survey) – both internationally renowned for the quality of their science – have joined forces.

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) has incorporated the Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey – previously SAHFOS (the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science). Both organisations can demonstrate global impact: the MBA was established in 1884 and counts seven Nobel Prize winners among those who have worked there. In 2013 the MBA was awarded a Royal Charter in recognition of its long and eminent history and its status within the field of marine biology. SAHFOS is an international non-profit organisation operating global surveys that measure the ecological health of the ocean using marine plankton. Its international hub is based at the Citadel Hill Laboratory on the Hoe.

As a result of...

Significant increase in marine heatwaves over the past century

Posted on Apr 2, 2018

Marine heatwaves have become longer and more frequent over the last century, a study on long-term changes in marine heatwaves has revealed.

The research shows that annual marine heatwave days have increased by 54 per cent from 1925 to 2016, with an accelerating trend since 1982. “This means a marine ecosystem that used to experience 30 days of extreme heat per year in the early 20th century is now experiencing 45 marine heatwave days per year. That extra exposure time to extreme heat can have detrimental effects on ecosystem health, with impacts on biodiversity as well as economic activities including fisheries and aquaculture.” says lead author of the research Dr Eric Oliver from Dalhousie University, Canada.

Marine heatwaves are defined as prolonged periods of unusually warm water at a particular location . Much like the worrying atmospheric...

Capturing our Coast support Invasive Species Week, 23rd – 29th March 2018

Posted on Apr 1, 2018

Volunteers identifying seashore life at a CoCoast MBA event

Capturing our Coast (CoCoast) is a marine citizen science project run by the Mieszkowska Group here at the MBA, who recently supported the Great Britain Non-Native Species Secretariat (GBNNSS) ‘ Invasive Species week’ by asking the general public to help search for marine invasive species as part of a survey called ‘ Marine Invaders ’.

Although events were held nationally by all of CoCoast’s seven national hubs, the MBA’s team who cover all of the Southwest held various events for volunteers including an invasive species identification evening, a public open evening and two Marine Invaders species searches in Plymouth and Torbay.

On 22 nd March, CoCoast kicked started Invasive Species Week with a specially organised marine invasive species identification evening for their citizen scientists, where training was provided courtesy of...

First Field Studies Council & MBA Marine Science Camp of 2018

Posted on Mar 21, 2018

Flatford Mill
Flatford Mill Marine Science Camp February 24th and 25th 2018

As the 'Beast from the East' was scratching at the door of the UK and temperatures were taking a nose dive, a group of Field Studies Council instructors and MBA scientists spent a weekend on the shore of the east coast in Suffolk, with young people braving the elements for an immersive crash course in marine biology. The two day experience was the first in program of camps being held around the country this coming year by the Field Studies Council who have teamed up with the MBA to run a series of Marine Science Camps (More Details Here) at centres around the UK.

More Photos on our Facebook Page

Saturday started with the usual introductions and briefings, but we quickly loaded the minibus and headed for an estuary site at Holbrook. The group explored and surveyed the...

International Recognition for MBA Data Team

Posted on Feb 27, 2018

OBIS logo

The MBA Data Team has been accredited as an Associated Data Unit of the International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) and becomes the UK node for the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS).

Effective data management ensures the best available evidence is accessible to support management, education, research and policy development. Working with international partners to establish and promote standards and best practice the MBA Data Team is at the heart of efforts to ensure marine biological data are collected and stored in a manner that facilitates future reuse; maximizing the initial investment and leveraging additional value.

The accreditation reflects the pivotal role the MBA plays in the management of the UK’s marine biological data resources and its global profile as a centre of excellence for marine data management.

The MBA has a...

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: