140 Years: Polar expeditions past and present

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) has been famously linked with three historic Antarctic expeditions, Discovery (1901 to 1904), Terra Nova (1910) and the ill-fated Endurance from 1914 to 1917. In 2021, MBA marine biologists yet again took part in an important polar expedition. Dr Kimberley Bird and Dr Birthe Zäncker joined the Synoptic Arctic Survey … Read more

Celebrating 25 years of research into the origins of vitamin C in plants

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in the human diet and it has been long known that plants are an excellent source of this important antioxidant. Prolonged absence of vitamin C in the diet leads to scurvy, a disease prevalent amongst early marine explorers who had little access to fresh fruit and vegetables. The biosynthetic … Read more

Advancing marine biology research through collaboration

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) recently hosted a collaborative meeting with researchers from the University of Exeter (UoE) to foster a deeper partnership between the two institutes. This gathering provided a great opportunity for scientists from both organisations to share their current research projects and explore potential areas for future collaboration in the field of … Read more

UN Senior Advisor visits the Marine Biological Association

Scientists at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) were delighted to welcome a United Nations Senior Advisor to its headquarters in Plymouth. Vincent Doumeizel, Senior Advisor on Oceans to the UN Global Compact visited marine biologists from the Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) Survey to learn more about the pioneering plankton research being conducted at the MBA. … Read more

MBA Staff Spotlight: Dr Cordelia Roberts

Dr Cordelia Roberts is a Post-doctoral Research Assistant in Marine Microbial Ecology and Biogeochemistry, and previously completed an MRes and PhD at the Marine Biological Association (MBA). As a researcher Cordelia is interested in looking at dead, dying and faecal material in the ocean (similar to leaf litter on land) which form sinking and suspended … Read more

Shedding new light on larval evolution of marine invertebrates

In the early stages of their life cycle, many marine invertebrates (animals without backbones) are often free-swimming larvae covered with tiny hair-like structures (cilia). These larvae possess a grouping of sensory cells, known as an apical organ, and some also have a long tuft of cilia, called an apical tuft. Like an antenna, the apical … Read more

New research on diatoms and carbon dioxide supply

The ocean contains a widespread group of single-celled algae called diatoms which play a significant role in the global carbon cycle.  As microscopic photosynthesising organisms (phytoplankton), diatoms transform light energy from the sun into chemical energy, fixing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen (primary production). Diatoms are responsible for up to 40% of marine primary productivity … Read more

Sunflowers of the sea: Anemones that track the sun

Plants, which rely on photosynthesis to survive have evolved to move towards a light source; but for the first time, similar behaviour has been recorded in marine animals. Researchers from the Marine Biological Association (MBA) have discovered that snakelocks anemones (Anemonia viridis) are heliotropic – they track the sun by pointing their tentacles towards it while remaining … Read more