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!

US scientist uses MBA mesocosm to investigate invasive species

Posted on Jan 5, 2018

The Mieszkowska Group © Marine Biological Association

A visiting researcher from the University of Alabama at Birmingham is collaborating with MBA scientists and using research facilities at the Plymouth laboratory to advance our knowledge of how and why invasive species spread.

Dr Stacy Krueger-Hadfield is carrying out a mescocosm experiment with the Mieszkowska lab at the MBA, as part of her project Ecological niche partitioning can stabilize and uncouple biphasic life cycles under different environmental condition s.

To find out more, follow her on Twitter @quooddy

Dr Krueger-Hadfield won a Ray Lankester Investigatorship for the project. Ray Lankester Fellowships are intended to provide opportunities for established researchers to work at the Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth. Read more information on awards and grants .


Dr Stacy Krueger-Hadfield. On...

A giant squid (Architeuthis dux) off Reunion Island, western Indian Ocean: the greatest giant ever?

Posted on Jan 5, 2018

Giant squid © Thibaut Thellier

Evgeny Romanov, one of the authors of ‘ A giant squid (Architeuthis dux) off Reunion Island, western Indian Ocean: the greatest giant ever? ‘ recently published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom , provides us further insight into this research in his blog .

Access the full paper for free until 31st January 2018. (Click the 'View HTML' button on the JMBA page for access)


ASSEMBLE+ announces first call for access to marine infrastructure

Posted on Jan 3, 2018

ASSEMBLE Plus flyer

The MBA is a partner in the Horizon 2020 Research Infrastructures project ASSEMBLE Plus (Association of European Marine Biological Laboratories Expanded). This European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC) led project brings together 32 marine stations and institutes from some 16 countries. The aims of ASSEMBLE Plus, achieved though Access, Networking and Joint Research activities, is to ultimately increase long-term sustainability of the partner marine stations and institutes.

The H2020 ASSEMBLE+ project call for access to marine infrastructures for research projects .

Under the Access activities, the first open call for access to marine infrastructures has been announced. Under this call the MBA is offering on-site Access to the following platforms and installations:

ecosystems in the vicinity of the MBA laboratory via our research vessel MBA Sepia...

MBA member awarded an OBE

Posted on Jan 2, 2018

Richard Thomson © Plymouth University

A member of the Marine Biological Association has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his research into marine pollution by plastics.

Professor Richard Thomson highlighted the presence of microplastic (coining the now familiar term) in the ocean in a paper in the journal Science ( Lost at sea: where is all the plastic? ). Subsequent work showed the extent to which microplastics could be ingested and their potential to transport pollutants into organisms.

He is a natural communicator and advocate, moving beyond the results of research to propose and promote potential solutions to the plastic problem. Watch his talk on microplastics at the Marine Biological Association in 2016.

Find out more at Plymouth University's website .

If you are interested in becoming part the marine biological community, join the MBA .