New research highlights management challenges for established invasive species.

Posted on Oct 31, 2018

Understanding population dynamics of established invasive species is important for designing effective management measures and predicting factors such as invasiveness and ecological impact. The kelp Undaria pinnatifid a has spread to most temperate regions of the world; however, a basic understanding of population dynamics is lacking for many regions. In this research, Undaria was monitored for 2 years, at 9 sites, across 3 habitats to investigate habitat-related variation in population structure, reproductive capacity and morphology.

Read the article here .

Find out more about the work of the Smale Group .


The invasive kelp Undaria pinnatifida .

BioBlitz Showcase: Inspiring involvement in Citizen Science

Posted on Oct 8, 2018

Join the MBA at the Life on the Yealm showcase event celebrating the diversity of life found in and around the Yealm estuary in South Devon. The event forms part of the National Biology Week activities supported by the Royal Society of Biology .

With its seagrass beds, creeks, sea cliffs and ancient woodlands, the Yealm estuary was the location for the MBA’s 10 th Annual BioBlitz during the Summer. Photos from the BioBlitz will be displayed and talks will showcase the wildlife found in the area, as well as highlighting the importance of other MBA citizen science initiatives.

The event is being held at the WI Hall in Newton Ferrers on Saturday 13 th October from 11am-4pm, with the talks beginning at 2pm. Everyone is welcome to attend this free event, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund , with coffee/tea and cake being provided. Pop in at any time.


Support the MBA when you shop online

Posted on Oct 2, 2018

Did you know whenever you purchase online – from a weekly shop to a holiday – you could be raising a free donation for us? More than 3,000 retailers including Amazon, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s will give a donation each time you shop at Easyfundraising. It's free, secure and simple: sign up to:

The Marine Biological Association is a member of Easyfundraising ( ). Working in a way similar to TopCashBack or Quid Co, this is an online cash-back service. Instead of monies being returned to the purchaser they are given to a chosen cause (the Marine Biological Association).

What is it?

A free secure service for supporters that offers a chosen cause a donation each time a signed up supporter shops online using one of the registered retailers (there’s...

Beluga whale spotted in the Thames

Posted on Sep 27, 2018

Attention turned to the river Thames on Tuesday (25 September), where a beluga whale was spotted almost 2,000 miles south of its typical geographic range: the southernmost UK sighting.

Marine mammal scientist and MBA member Prof. Chris Parsons said; "It is really strange to see a beluga here. There have been strandings of beluga whales in the UK historically, and occasionally sperm whales have come this far south, but for a beluga whale to come as far south as London is very unusual. It’s the temperature that may be a problem for this Arctic animal."

We spoke to Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, sightings officer for The Sea Watch Foundation who told us: "It’s not unusual to see belugas travelling up rivers, but it’s not very common to see them venturing so far south from where they usually live, which is the Arctic. It’s a very long journey, and we don’t know exactly what...

Are core functions maintained in novel kelp forests?

Posted on Aug 28, 2018

New research on north east Atlantic kelp forests examines whether 'novel ecosystems', brought about by warming seas, can provide the same vital services as pre-warming ecosystems.

Large canopy-forming kelp forests are foundation species In temperate marine environments. The warm-water kelp, Laminaria ochroleuca is expanding its range northwards, and is increasingly common in the kelp communities of south west England. Lead author of the research Albert Pessarrodona explains: “As the ocean warms, species are moving up slopes and towards the poles in order to remain within their preferred environmental conditions. Species with warm affinities are migrating to many habitats previously dominated by cold-water ones, transforming ecosystems as we know them. These so-called novel ecosystems feature a mix of warm- and cold-affinity species, but we don’t know whether they can retain...

The Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology Workshop celebrates its 35th year at the MBA!

Posted on Aug 28, 2018

From tomorrow (Wednesday 29th August), the MBA will be privileged to host the two-week Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology Workshop which is now celebrating its 35 th year!

Over 55 people will take part including 20 student participants (PhD and Post-Doctoral students from the UK, wider EU and beyond) who won places through a competitive application process.

The Cell Physiology Workshop was founded by Professor Anne Warner, Professor Colin Brownlee and Dr David Ogden. The Microelectrode Techniques for Cell Physiology Workshop is funded by:

BBSRC, The Physiological Society, The Company of Biologists and The Journal of Experimental Biology.

Equipment lenders and contributors are:

MBA, University of Plymouth; Universities of St Andrews, Helsinki and Paris Descartes; Cairn,...

The Beach Rangers blog, 14 August 2018. Plastic pollution in our oceans

Posted on Aug 16, 2018

Tuesday's session at Teats Hill this week was focused on plastic pollution in our oceans.

We helped the children understand the impact of their rubbish by using a timeline game to show them how long different types of rubbish take to break down, getting them to initially guess what they thought - as you can imagine everyone underestimated the time!! Following that we had a very productive litter pick which all parties involved loved. One 13 year-old commented 'I really enjoyed that, its nice to make a difference.'. It is unfortunately shocking how much we collected in just half an hour at Teats Hill - one child even found a sleeping mat! - but we were really pleased to prevent it from entering the ocean.

We also did lots of plastic crafts, making squids, turtles, fish and jellyfish from plastic bottles - they were amazing and I was very impressed with the creativity...