Spillover of invasive kelp from marinas to natural reef

Posted on Nov 2, 2017


A detailed survey of marinas and rocky shores in south Devon and Cornwall have identified a link between populations of invasive seaweeds. Under certain conditions it seems that marinas facilitate the spread of the invasive kelp Wakame into natural rocky coastlines.

Wakame, or Undaria pinnatifida , is a non-native kelp that has been present in the UK since 1994. It is predominantly found in marinas or harbours, growing on man-made structures such as floating pontoons. Using a mixture of pontoon surveys, snorkelling and video techniques, Wakame was found at all marinas surveyed, but in only around half of the natural coastal sites.

Wakame was more likely to be found growing on natural coastlines when the site was close to a marina with a high abundance of the invader. Locations with larger areas of pontoons were also more likely to contain natural reef sites...

Dr Matt Frost appointed Interim MBA Director

Posted on Nov 1, 2017

Dr Matt Frost, MBA Interim Director

The MBA is pleased to announce that Dr Matt Frost has been appointed Interim MBA Director from 1 November 2017. Dr Frost will continue in this role until a new MBA Director is appointed. He will assume the duties of MBA Director since Professor Colin Brownlee is stepping out of this role after 10 years to return to full-time research.

In addition to his new role as interim Director, Matt is in charge of Policy and Knowledge Exchange, with particular responsibility for the Association as a national and international Learned Society/Membership organisation. He also works on areas of MBA strategic development and governance.

Dr Matt Frost 1.JPG

Matt has a degree and PhD in marine benthic ecology but has since focused on marine policy; providing science to policy training; lecturing on postgraduate courses; chairing science-policy committees; and...

MBA contributes further to increasing Ocean Literacy in Europe

Posted on Oct 24, 2017

To celebrate the Year of Science, UK-German Connection , in collaboration with the British Council , organised a ‘Sea and Oceans’ Youth Seminar; a three-day event to discuss current issues and challenges facing our environment, seas and oceans. On the 20-22 October 2017, the MBA joined this initiative and 50 British and German 16-19 year-olds in Hamburg, Germany, for a hands-on, informative seminar on litter, rising sea levels, biodiversity and ocean literacy.

This group of 50 young people travelled far and wide from across the two countries, and were brought together by a strong interest in the theme 'seas and oceans' and in discussing the topic with UK and German peers.

During the second day of the seminar, the MBA team introduced the group to the concept of ocean literacy, including the 7 Ocean Literacy Principles. Additionally, seminar...

MBA student wins prize at International Nannoplankton Association meeting

Posted on Oct 17, 2017

Charlotte Walker

Charlotte Walker, a PhD student based at the MBA as part of the SPITFIRE doctoral training partnership, has been awarded the prize for best student presentation at the 16th International Nannoplankton Association Meeting in Athens, Greece. The International Nannoplankton Association represents an association of scientists interested in the biology and geology of mineralised phytoplankton. These tiny algae are surrounded by mineralised plates or scales that are often preserved as fossils, providing important insight into the impact of past climatic events on our oceans. Charlotte presented research findings from her PhD examining the cellular mechanisms of calcification in coccolithophores.

Invitation to MBA members: lecture and Annual General Meeting

Posted on Oct 17, 2017

MBA Coat of Arms

Dear Member,

RE: Talk, Annual General Meeting & Council Tea

On Thursday 16 th November 2017 there will be Lectures, followed by the Annual General Meeting of the Association and Council Tea, and you are cordially invited to these events at the MBA Citadel Hill Laboratory in Plymouth . The programme is as follows:

2 – 2.15 pm

Brief presentation given by MBA’s Dr Keith Hiscock entitled: ‘Celebrating Britain’s Hidden World’

“What do you think is out there?” is a question that I often ask bystanders as I get ready to go diving in Plymouth Sound. Usually, their answer is something like “it’s just mud isn’t it?”. Show them pictures of forests of sea fans or walls of jewel anemones and ask “where do you think these...

NERC chooses MBA to deliver a 'blueprint' for public engagement with environmental research

Posted on Oct 15, 2017

Marine biological survey

The Marine Biological Association is leading a sector-changing public engagement project.

Selected by NERC, the MBA has been chosen, as part of a new ‘BLUEPRINT' consortium, to build capacity in public engagement with environmental research across the UK.

NERC has awarded a total of £500,000 to six projects to equip the environmental research sector to deliver effective, national-scale public engagement with contemporary issues of environmental science.

As one of the six successful bids, BLUEPRINT consists of nine institutions and organisations who will consolidate their learning, expertise and training into a 'blueprint' for how to build consortia, build capacity, and how to create innovative activities in public engagement.

By combining scientists, facilitators, creatives and skilled media communicators, the aim is to equip...

Love is in the air – citizen scientists are needed to help shed light on the sex life of the lugworm

Posted on Oct 14, 2017

Lugworm cast

The secret life of lugworms – citizen scientists are needed to help shed light on the sex life of this sediment-dwelling worm.

Love is in the air again this year along our coastlines and University of Portsmouth needs your help to keep an eye out for signs of passion in the lugworm population. The lugworm, Arenicola marina , is a vital source of food for wader birds and fish as well as playing a key role in fisheries as a source of bait. Volunteers are being asking to keep an eye out for any signs of love within the lugworm population on sandy shores around the UK. This species spends its life in a burrow in the sediment so opportunities to meet a mate are limited. Instead, the males release sperm which collects in “puddles” on the surface of the beach. When the tide comes in, the sperm is washed down into the burrows of the females and fertilises her eggs. Not a...