International recognition for MBA researcher

Posted on Apr 11, 2017

The ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

Dr Atsuko Sato has been awarded the Commendation for Science and Technology (The Young Scientists' Prize) in Japan, for her work on pterobranchs (Atsuko’s PhD was supervised by Prof. Peter Holland (Oxford), who has long been on MBA Council) and the ascidian Ciona intestinalis in Plymouth over the past decade. Dr Sato would like to thank all the members and staff at the MBA for their long-term generous support for her work, particularly John Bishop, Christine Wood, Colin Brownlee, David Sims and the crew of MBA Sepia .

Dr Sato is set to rejoin the staff at the MBA's Citadel Hill laboratory this summer after being awarded a Ray Lankester Fellowship to further pursue her studies on the ascidian Ciona intestinalis .

CrabWatch for all!

Posted on Apr 11, 2017

Crabby Crafts

On the 4th and 5th of April 2017, the MBA education team was at the National Marine Aquarium's Sea the Difference event in Plymouth. Together with families and other local environmental organisations, we celebrated our amazing local coasts. With the soon to be launched Crab Watch in mind, a European funded Sea Change citizen science initiative, the couple of days were filled with crabby crafts and awareness raising of the spread and potential impact of non-native crab species. Well-designed, citizen science initiatives are a very strong tool to engage with the public and share information in a multidirectional way. In this Sea Change task, European citizens will be challenged to make an inventory of beach crabs by carrying out standardised protocols and engage in a most enjoyable and scientifically sound “CrabWatch”!

For updates on CrabWatch, check #CrabWatch on Twitter!

A new marine species discovered in the Western English Channel

Posted on Apr 4, 2017

Amblyosyllis formosa

A report from a Swedish-British expedition to the Marine Biological Association

At the end of March colleagues from The Maritime Museum and Aquarium in Gothenburg (Arne Nygren), Tjärnö Marine Laboratory, Gothenburg University (Fredrik Pleijel), and the National Museum Wales (Andy Mackie and Katie Mortimer-Jones), arrived at the laboratory of the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth for a one-week trip to collect marine bristleworms. The MBA is an ideal place for marine biologists with our interests to visit. The lab is well suited for our purposes and a very rich marine fauna can be found only a 15 minute boat trip away.

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Monday was spent on the laboratory's research vessel RV Sepia sampling several localities and hunting for polychaete worms of different kinds. Back in the lab...

The first Sea-Shore Safari of the year at Mount Edgcumbe!

Posted on Mar 31, 2017

On the 30 th of March 2017, the education team and volunteers spent the day engaging primary school children from St Andrew’s Primary School, Plymouth on the shore at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. The first sea-shore safari of the year included surveys for the European funded Sea Change initiative Crab Watch. As well as a crab survey and crab-related crafts and games, eagle eyed pupils also recorded sightings of the invasive wakame ( Undaria pinnatifida) and the club seasquirt ( Styela clava ).

Annual meeting of the ICES working group on small pelagic fish (WGSPEC) held in Plymouth 3rd-5th April!

Posted on Mar 29, 2017

From the 3rd-5th of April the annual meeting of the ICES working group will take place at Coxside Marine Station, Plymouth, with a focus on small pelagic fish, their ecosystems and climate impact. The meeting aims to unite the community of fisheries scientists from Plymouth University, the Marine Biological Association and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, together with some international colleagues.

The working group are particularly keen to engage students and early career researchers with the work of ICES and will be highlighting opportunities for involvement. To facilitate this, a series of talks and networking sessions on the first day of the meeting (3 rd April) has been organised for those interested in learning more about ICES and fisheries research.

Further details of the meeting are included in the attached agenda below.


Exciting ocean outreach activities revealed in the Sea Change project’s third project newsletter

Posted on Mar 28, 2017

The third issue of the Sea Change project newsletter presents the exciting outreach events taking place across Europe to encourage people to become ocean literate. One such event is the MBA-led “Crab Watch”, a citizen science initiative where members of the public are challenged to make an inventory of beach crabs by carrying out standardised protocols. This initiative engages with the public by inviting them to share useful scientific information while also raising awareness of the impact of non-native species. The newsletter also includes articles on the Sea Change online course entitled “From ABC to ABSeas: Ocean Literacy for all”, which offers educators innovative ways to teach Ocean Literacy. The course is available, on the European Multiple MOOC Aggregator (EMMA) in the following languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian and Catalan. Access the course here .


Another successful ‘Marine Biologist for a Day’ event for British Science Week 2017

Posted on Mar 24, 2017

Marine Biologist for a day

Another very successful ‘Marine Biologist for a Day’ event for British Science Week last week, attracting keen students from across the country! Feedback was very positive as sessions were varied and provided real hands-on experience of what being a marine biologist is like. It was great to meet so many of our YMB members too!